KC pizza robbery goes awry

Delivery number leads officers to suspect.
Thursday, January 5, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 6:47 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 12, 2008

KANSAS CITY — A man apparently looking for free lunch was arrested for allegedly assaulting a pizza delivery man.

Police say Virgil Dennis ordered three pies from Pizza Hut at lunchtime Tuesday and gave the address of a vacant apartment downstairs from his own. When the driver arrived, authorities say, 22-year-old Dennis pressed a knife against the delivery man’s neck and demanded the pizzas.

The crime was reported, and police traced the number Dennis provided Pizza Hut to an apartment two floors up from the one where the pies were delivered. When officers arrived there, they said a young man and woman opened the door, holding a small girl who was eating a slice of pizza.

“That was our first clue,” said Officer George Springer.

Officers said they found Dennis hiding in the bathroom. While police waited for an officer to return with the delivery driver to identify his assailant, Dennis bolted from the apartment barefoot, handcuffs still dangling on one wrist.

“This guy jumps across about six different balconies, and scales down to the second floor,” said Officer Darin Snapp.

After a brief struggle in the parking lot, police got him under control, and the driver identified Dennis as the thief.

Jackson County prosecutors charged Dennis with first-degree robbery and armed criminal action. Police returned the uneaten slices to Pizza Hut.

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