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Burbank teen allegedly strikes worker with skateboard after trying to skip bill

An 18-year-old Burbank resident was arrested over the weekend on suspicion of assault with a dealy weapon after allegedly hitting a restaurant employee in the head with a skateboard while attempting to flee without paying his bill, police said.

John Douglas Benne was having lunch with an unidentified 18- to 20-year-old male at Frontier Wok on Hollywood Way Saturday afternoon when both teens attempted to leave without paying the bill, Sgt. Darin Ryburn said.

“They were leaving and an employee shouted, ‘They didn’t pay their bill, they didn’t pay their bill,’” Ryburn said.

Of the pair, Benne was the second one out the door and an employee caught him by the arm and told him about the unpaid bill when Benne allegedly struck the employee with a skateboard, Ryburn said.


Two male employees from Charter Communications who were at the restaurant yelled at the suspect to stop and attempted to detain him, but were not successful, Ryburn said.

Benne and his other unidentified friend fled the scene on foot, but police caught up with Benne a short time later and the restaurant employee helped identify him, Ryburn said.

Benne was arrested on suspicion of defrauding a business and assault with a deadly weapon. Benne remained in custody Tuesday on $30,000 bail.

The investigation remains ongoing as police continue searching for the second teen, Ryburn said.


-- Maria Hsin, Times Community News

Twitter: @mariahsin