Elgin teen gets 16 years for pizzeria robberies

March 28, 2002

ELGIN, Ill. -- An Elgin teenager who robbed two DuPage County pizza restaurants at gunpoint last summer and engaged in a gunfight with one owner was sentenced March 27 to more than 16 years behind bars.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Paul Chanthalusy, 18, pleaded guilty to robbing two pizza parlors in Carol Stream and Itasca.

Last August, Chanthalusy and John Southammavong, 19, also of Elgin, robbed Sir Nick's Pizza in Carol Stream of more than $1,700. Two days later they tried to rob Frank's Pizza in Itasca.

After both men entered Frank's, Chanthalusy pointed a gun at the head of the owner, Felipe Perez, as his wife and two children looked on. Perez attacked Chanthalusy and was shot in the leg during the struggle, but he wrestled the gun from Chanthalusy and shot both robbers in their legs as they fled. Both were arrested when they sought treatment at a hospital.

Perez said, "I didn't care about the money. He had a gun pointed straight at me, and I thought they were going to kill my wife and son and I had to do something. Right or wrong, I had to defend my family."

During the trial, when the judge asked Chanthalusy whether he wanted to make a statement before receiving his sentence, Chanthalusy turned to Perez and apologized. Perez didn't accept the apology, and responded angrily.

"Don't apologize, you can't. You knew there were children in the restaurant."

Chanthalusy was sentenced to 16 years and eight months for aggravated battery with a firearm, unlawful restraint and armed robbery.

Southammavong also pleaded guilty and will be sentenced in several weeks.

Topics: Crime , Independent Operation

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