MIAMI - Two restaurant employees wound up in the hospital following a violent armed robbery over the weekend, reports CBS Miami.
An employee at a Red Lobster in Miami was confronted by two armed men as she was leaving just before midnight Sunday, according to the station. Police said the men had their faces covered by shirts or winter hats. The suspects allegedly dragged the employee back into the closed restaurant by her hair.
"That's when they ordered everybody at gunpoint to surrender their cell phones," Miami-Dade police spokesman Det. Alvaro Zabaleta told CBS Miami.
Police said the men pistol-whipped 52-year-old shift manager Edith Olivares and demanded she open the office safe. They also allegedly assaulted a bartender, 24-year-old Leron Reid, by repeatedly hitting and kicking him.
After taking the cash, the suspects brought everyone into one of the building's freezers and closed the door, according to police.
"They left these people inside a freezing cooler," Zabaleta said. "It was very brazen what they did, it was total disregard for life by leaving them in there. Luckily, according to the general manager, there are mechanisms in place in these coolers where they are able to get out, but [the suspects] didn't know that."
CBS Miami reports an employee was able to open the freezer door and called police. Olivares and Reid were both taken to a hospital. They were released the next day.
Police said the robbers made off with about $500.
"These are desperate people doing desperate things for very little remuneration," Red Lobster General Manager Neil Anderson told the station. "Unfortunately, these are the times we live in."
Anyone with information about the robbery should call Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.