Three get 10 years in Subway robbery
Updated: November 19, 2012 2:17PM
ELMWOOD PARK — Following more than a year of court continuances, three men involved in the robbery of a fast-food restaurant were each sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Justin Butler, 21, Robert Howard, 19, and Terrance Westmoreland, 21, all from Chicago, were sentenced Oct. 9 at Maybrook Courthouse. All were initially charged with armed robbery. Butler was also charged with aggravated battery.
At 9:45 p.m. Feb. 10, 2011, the three men reportedly entered Subway, 2836 N. Harlem Ave., and demanded money. Butler was holding a semi-automatic pistol, according to police.
They took money from the register, a cell phone and money from employees and demanded they open the store’s safe, but Elmwood Park Police Detective Glenn Mieszala said they did not know the combination. He said one of the employees was pistol whipped in the head by one of the three men and received seven stitches.
The three drove from the scene, but police were alerted. The ensuing chase reached speeds of more than 100 mph. The three made it to Chicago’s city limits and crashed into a snow bank at North and Luna avenues.
Police arrested two of the three men after a short foot chase, but Howard got away, Mieszala said. Subway employees identified Westmoreland and Butler at the scene.
Howard was arrested Feb. 15 at his Chicago home and showed police where the gun used in the robbery was hidden, Mieszala said.
David Patel, owner of the Subway restaurant, said he is glad justice was done, but was sad about the effect jail time will have on the men.
“The law is doing its job, but I feel very sorry that the young men are going to jail,” he said. “They are supposed to be in school doing something. I feel sorry for them.”
Elmwood Park Detectives Mark Astrella and Mieszala, have worked on the case since the initial arrest. Elmwood Park Deputy Police Chief Andrew Hock said the arrest was a collaborative effort involving the village’s department and other police.
“It was a lot of hard work, but it paid off,” Hock said.