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Published: Saturday, 5/24/2008

Data wanted on holdup, shooting of restaurateur

Toledo police are seeking information about a robbery Monday in North Toledo during which a restaurant owner was shot while giving a man a ride to his broken-down vehicle, authorities said.

Richard Lawrence, 77, was listed in serious condition last night in St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, a hospital official said.

A man walked into New Chet's Restaurant, 1024 East Manhattan Blvd., about 8:15 a.m. Monday, saying he needed help with a disabled vehicle. Mr. Lawrence offered to give him a ride.

During the drive, the young man told Mr. Lawrence he was going to rob him.

The two struggled, and the suspect fired three times, striking Mr. Lawrence once in the right arm and once in the upper left chest.

The suspect then fled, police said.

Mr. Lawrence attempted to drive himself to the hospital. While en route, he saw a Toledo police officer near Central and Stickney avenues and veered his van toward the patrol vehicle and got the attention of the officer, who assisted him.

The suspect was described as black, between 17 and 20 years old, and wearing a red shirt at the time of the shooting.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Crime Stopper program at 419-255-1111. Callers may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a cash reward.

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