People’s Choice reopens after attempted robbery of restaurant


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Customers lined up at People’s Choice restaurant today to show their support after an attempted robbery sent one employee to the hospital Monday night.

People’s Choice, is a Jamaican and soul food restaurant in southwest Rochester that is known for a “pay what you can afford” promotion happening through January 1.

On Monday, at 7:40 p.m., RPD responded to a call at the Brooks Avenue restaurant for the report of a fight with a possible robbery.

When they arrived, officers found a 32-year-old Darnell Wilson injured. Wilson tackled the suspect and the pair fell through a window at the front of the building. Rochester police say at some point shots were fired, but no one was struck.

Even after the melee, owner Evangela Stanley was determined to re-open Tuesday morning, Christmas Eve day.

“I’m very strong, I’m very loyal and dedicated to my business and I have a lot of customers and huge support.” said Stanley. The window was boarded up and at 11:30 a.m. she opened the doors. Since then a stream of customers have kept her busy.

“The overwhelming support and love that people have given, if it wasn’t somebody beeping a horn or somebody dropping off a donation …they were just coming from all over the place to show their love,” said Ernest Flagler-Mitchell a Monroe County Legislator for Rochester’s 29th district who stopped into People’s Choice to show his support. “That’s what community is all about.”

Wilson was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital where he received 21 stitches in his right hand. He said Stanley is someone the entire community should protect.

“She comes in and she feeds the whole table for whatever you have. Who is doing that in this town? Who’s doing that anywhere? I never heard of it anywhere,” said Wilson

The community is also grateful for Wilson and his selfless act. “It was a blessing that the young man that was in the building at that time came out and without even any thought,” said Flagler-Mitchell. He adds last night could easily have been a homicide, “God had His whole hand on this whole situation. We’re blessed that (Stanley) is alive,” he says.

Police have no suspects in custody in connection to the robbery. They do have surveillance footage of the attack and are investigating.

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