Two men were arrested yesterday and charged in the holdup of a Cheverly fast-food restaurant late Sunday that police said climaxed with a brief hostage-taking and the wounding of four Prince George's County police officers.
The suspects were charged last night with robbery with a deadly weapon and use of a handgun in the holdup about 11 p.m. Sunday of the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant at 6501 Landover Rd.
The holdup touched off an intensive manhunt by more than 50 officers and several police dogs after the holdup men escaped despite being surrounded by scores of officers. The wounding of the four officers came in an exchange of gunfire as the robbers escaped, police said.
Charged in the incident were Derrick Lambert, 26, of 3404 Curtis Dr., Hillcrest Heights, who police said was arrested at 3:30 p.m. at Suitland Parkway and Naylor Road, and Herbert Montgomery, 28, arrested at 6:10 p.m. at his home, 4927 Windbrook Dr., Oxon Hill. Both were being held in the County Detention Center.
Police said Lambert and Montgomery are being investigated in connection with six other recent holdups of fast-food restaurants in the county.
The Sunday night escape from the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant on Landover Road came after the two holdup men momentarily confused police officers by donning uniforms inside the restaurant. They sent four uniformed employes as decoys out a back entrance while they left by the front entrance with an employe as a hostage. The hostage, whom police would not identify, was unharmed.
"Everybody was running around with the same type of clothing on," Cpl. Bruce Gentile, a police spokesman, said yesterday.
As the robbers tried to escape in the hostage's pickup truck, police shot the tires of their getaway vehicle, forcing them to abandon it and their hostage about 300 yards from the scene and flee into the woods.
The incident began when an undercover police officer staking out the restaurant became suspicious of two men who entered shortly before 11 p.m. Since June 22, Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets in District Heights, Capitol Heights, Lanham, Oxon Hill and Fort Washington had been robbed.
The Landover store seemed a likely target and "the robbery detectives thought it was a good bet to sit on it," Gentile said.
The bet paid off when Detective Howard Shook, who was alone on the stakeout, saw the two men enter and confront the four employes in the store. He radioed for police backup and, within minutes, at least 10 squad cars converged on the area. Other cars arrived shortly afterward.
The gunmen, who police said were in the restaurant for less than 10 minutes, held a gun to the hostage's head while making their way to a pickup truck. They fired at police as they moved, but police returned limited fire because of the hostage.
After the suspects and their hostage were inside the truck, police immediately shot its tires. The driver swerved out of the lot onto Rte. 202 and crashed into a squad car before abandoning the vehicle.
Shook, 35, who was shot in the left leg, was in Prince George's Hospital Center yesterday but police described his condition as "not serious."
Detective Joseph W. Frolich, 35, was shot in the arm and Pvt. Ronald L. Kaszubski, 24, in the foot. A member of the Cheverly police force was shot in the right hand. All were treated at the hospital and released.