In two separate robbery attempts, pizza operators turned the tables on would-be thieves by fighting back.

According to, a worker at a Columbus, Ohio, pizzeria fought off a gun-toting robber on Nov. 17, by slashing the man across the back of his head with a rocker cutter. The cut from the tool (known also as a "mezzaluna," because of its half-moon shape), left pieces of hair and skin on the floor of the shop. The wounded man dropped the gun and fled the scene.

In Rockford, Ill., an attempted armed robbery of Vinny's Pizza ended quickly when co-owner Lia Mercuri fired warning shots near two men who'd stormed through the shop's back door on Nov. 17.

Mercuri's brother and Vinny's co-owner, Mario Cassola, told the Rockford Star one man entered the pizzeria and attacked him with a hammer, while second man, carrying a rifle, followed him in.

Despite receiving multiple blows from the hammer, Cassola fought with the first man while Mercuri pulled out a gun kept at the shop and started to shoot.

"I was angry and I wanted to scare them away, so I shot into the air and hit the wall and by the door," Mercuri said.

Both men fled.

A short time later, a Rockford Park District patrol officer stopped a vehicle with two men inside. Both a hammer and a rifle were recovered from the scene of the arrest of Michael J. Buck, 18, and Vaughn V. Gulley, 23, both of Rockford.

"He hit me a few times, I don't know why I didn't fall down," Cassola, 37, said. "I was shaking him, and I put him between me and the other guy as sort of a human shield."

Since the pair bought the shop a year ago, it's been burglarized once and one of its drivers was robbed.

"I don't know if we're heroes," Mercuri, 40, said. "I'm just glad no one was hurt, they didn't get any money and the police got them."

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