Dec. 29, 2003
OXON HILL, Md.--A pizza delivery driver who suffered life-threatening bullet wounds to his back and stomach during a Dec. 29 robbery and shooting, is now stable and expected to recover.
According to the Washington Times, India native Vinay Harnal, 27, fled his homeland for a better life in the U.S. This year, however, he's been robbed twice while delivering pizza.
During a phone interview from his hospital bed, Harnal said one of the robbers demanded money, and he told him to take it. But, Harnal added, the man began shooting when Harnal reached into his back pocket.
"I just stood there, and he started shooting," he said.
Oxon Hill residents were surprised such a violent crime occurred in their neighborhood, a lightly wooded development with high-dollar residences overlooking the Potomac River.
"The most that has ever happened around here is your car gets dinged up by a deer," said resident Chuck Johnson, 32. "I am surprised. It's a nice neighborhood. Nothing ever happens around here."
A full-time truck driver, Harnal was moonlighting for a Papa John's outlet when he was robbed.
"I just came back for a part-time job, just to make a little money," he said.
Ashwinee Singh, a manager at the Papa John's where Harnal works, said the shop is averaging about one driver robbery a month.
"It's my policy if anybody comes to rob, to give them the money," he said.