Thief sues pizzeria for injuries during hold-up

Criminal alleges employees 'punched, kicked' him after he robbed


A man who held up a local pizzeria at gunpoint is now suing the shop's employees for allegedly roughing him up as he attempted to run off with the cash.

Nigel Sykes, 23, of Wilmington, Delaware, alleges assault in a federal civil complaint claiming the rough treatment during the attempted hold-up was "unnecessary" and that as a result of the injuries he suffered, he is due over $260,000.

The News Journal reports that Sykes admitted in his self-written complaint -- which he filed from prison, where he is serving a 15-year sentence for robbery and attempted robbery -- that he forced he way into Seasons Pizza in Newport, showed the employees his gun and demanded money. After they handed over $140, he began to exit the shop when employees allegedly grabbed him from behind and wrestled the gun from him, with at least one shot being fired during the struggle.

"That is when the assault began," according to Sykes' suit. "All of the Season's Pizza employees participated in punching, kicking and pouring hot soup over my body. I was unarmed and defenseless and had to suffer a brutal beating by all of the employees of Seasons Pizza," he wrote.

Sykes also alleges that that after employees subdued him, two Newport police officers improperly used stun guns on him and denied him access to medical attention.

At the time of his 2010 arrest, police said Sykes was linked to at least eight other robberies including a bank, three other pizzerias, two fast food restaurants and two convenience stores.

Attorneys for the two Newport police officers recently filed a response to the suit, seeking to have it tossed out on statute of limitations grounds.