Customers nab would-be robber

LAWRENCEVILLE - A Norcross man accused of robbing a beauty salon earlier this week reportedly had no problem bullying women and children, but was ill prepared for a run-in with some tough customers from a neighboring tattoo parlor.

Authorities said 31-year-old Jonni Rodrigo Perez strolled into La Unica Beauty Salon at 5119 Jimmy Carter Blvd. about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday to ask about having his hair colored. When turned away because it was closing time, Perez walked behind the counter and brandished a serrated steak knife, according to Cpl. Darren Moloney, spokesman for the Gwinnett County Police Department.

Perez allegedly threatened to stab a female employee if she did not open the register.

A customer standing near the door of the beauty salon was able to escape and call 911. An 8-year-old boy and two girls, ages 5 and 10, who were children of employees, were also inside the store as the suspect made his demands. The kids ran to the back area screaming and crying, according to a police report.

Perez allegedly stole about $140 from the register. Then he ran to the door and came face-to-face with two patrons from the business next-door: In the Flesh Tattoo Parlor. Thomas Andrew Payne, 19, of Sugar Hill, and Adam Cosy Goodman, 27, of Lilburn, heard the screaming and decided to walk over to investigate. Perez was "escorted to the ground" by the customers and held down until police officers could arrive, the police report said.

Perez' nose was injured and possibly broken in the scuffle. Paramedics treated the injury and released Perez at the scene. Perez was jailed on three misdemeanor charges of third-degree cruelty to children, two felony charges of aggravated assault and one felony charge of armed robbery.

No one else was injured and the stolen cash was recovered, however, Moloney said he does not recommend that citizens confront armed robbers.

"The Gwinnett County Police Department does not endorse citizens attempting to apprehend violent felons," Moloney said. "What these two did was dangerous. In this situation, it worked out all right and we are grateful."