It's about the last thing you'd expect to see at your local sandwich shop, a man who walks in with a samurai sword. But as several employees at a Cape May County eatery tell us, this scenario was no joke, and they feared for their lives.
"I thought we were going to get killed. He said he was going to slice all of us up," said Lee DeBiase, an employee at American Deli on Bayshore Road in Lower Township.
It all happened around 6p.m. Monday evening, when 43-year-old Ryan Crump walked into the deli with a samurai sword, and allegedly demanded that the employees give him back his cell phone.
"He told us he was going to jump across the counter and that we better find his cell phone fast," said DeBiase.
"He wasn't going anywhere until he got his cell phone, which none of us had or even seen," said David Valley, an employee at the deli.
That's when Crump started swinging the sword at the employees.
"He took it out like he thought he was a samurai master. He started pointing it at everybody and swinging it around. He came pretty close to our faces and everything," said Mike Houseman, an employee at the deli.
"Another inch or so, Mike wouldn't have an eye or a nose," said Valley.
"One of the guys ran out back there and got the cops on the phone just in time," said Houseman.
Within a matter of minutes, Lower Township Police were on the scene.
"There were 10 cops here, all guns drawn. He even tried reaching for a knife in his pocket when he was lying outside," said DeBiase.
Crump was taken into custody and charged with three counts of aggravated assault, along with terrorist threats and other weapons offenses, but fortunately, no one was injured.
"I am thrilled that nobody got hurt. I am thrilled that the cops did their job within 45 seconds,” said DeBiase.
And while police saved the day, these employees still say the situation was terrifying.
"When you look down at the blade of a samurai, your whole life changes," said DeBiase.
"I thought he was going to cut my face open with it," said Houseman.
"You never would think that someone would walk into the store with a samurai sword," said Valley.
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