Three indicted in Chili's robbery, police chase

News-DemocratAugust 29, 2013 

Three men accused of robbing the Chili's Bar and Grill in Fairview Heights have been indicted on interference with commerce by violence charges by a federal grand jury.

The three men were arrested after allegedly robbing the restaurant on Aug. 1 and leading police on a chase through downtown St. Louis. The armed robbery was reported about 9:30 p.m. at the restaurant, which is located on Illinois 159.

Christopher Jamaal Ford, 28, of St. Louis, Daniel W. Amerson, 26, of Cahokia, and Terry Lee Scott, 44, of Alorton, were indicted in federal court in the Southern District of Illinois in East St. Louis, according to Stephen R. Wigginton, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois. The men were all charged under the federal Hobbs Act and are being held without bail. Trials for the men are scheduled for Oct. 7.

According to the police report, the three men walked into the restaurant and two of them displayed handguns. They then ordered employees to the back of the store and demanded cash from the safe. The employees handed over the cash and the trio escaped in a silver Chrysler. An Illinois State Police trooper spotted the vehicle headed west on Interstate 64 near the Martin Luther King Bridge. A Fairview Heights officer also joined the pursuit.

After crossing the river, the suspects turned down several side streets in St. Louis, eventually abandoning the car at the intersection of Gamble and Glasgow.

One suspect was taken into custody by the trooper. St. Louis Police captured two others. Two handguns and an undetermined amount of cash were recovered from the car.

An person convicted of violating the Hobbs Act faces a prison sentence of up to 20 years, a fine of up to $250,000 and up to three years of parole after the prison sentence is served.

Contact reporter Jennifer A. Schaaf at jschaaf@bnd.com or 618-239-2667.

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