Restaurant owner recalls night he was beaten and shot - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Restaurant owner recalls night he was beaten and shot

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Villa di Roma Owner Antonino Buscemi Villa di Roma Owner Antonino Buscemi
Buscemi tried to fight off the intruder. He was shot and beaten. Buscemi tried to fight off the intruder. He was shot and beaten.
Police arrested John Shabazz, 20, for the crime. Police arrested John Shabazz, 20, for the crime.

By Marissa Alter

ROCKFORD (WREX) - A long-time Rockford business owner, shot and beaten during a robbery attempt at his restaurant, walks us through the incident that landed him in the hospital.

Antonino Buscemi has 29 years in the restaurant business. Five years ago he was robbed and shot in the parking lot of Villa di Roma Pizza as he left for the night. Now Buscemi always has a gun with him when he leaves. But early Thursday morning an intruder got to him in his own restaurant.

Buscemi was in his office around 2 am closing up when he realized he wasn't alone.

"I see this black guy with a black gun, big one, to my head."

The intruder made demands.

"Give me the money or I'll kill you. Give me the money or I'll kill you."

But Buscemi fought back, refusing to give up the contents of his pants pockets. The intruder then shot him and beat him in the head.

"And after that, I falled[sic] down. When I falled[sic] down, he go in my desk."

While the suspect searched there, Buscemi ran but was quickly caught.

"[He] picked me up from the back, took me inside again."

The man shoved his gun in Buscemi's mouth and continued to beat him.

"Got my wallet, money, keys, everything in my pants."

Also a gold bracelet, a watch, and Buscemi's revolver kept in his desk.

Then the man took off out the side door. Police later arrested John Shabazz, 20, for the crime. Buscemi went to the hospital but was back on the job two days later.

"I had to be back, take care of business."

Buscemi says he's feeling good and doesn't plan to change much about his routine except adding more cameras outside the restaurant.

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