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Lunching FBI Agents Foil Robbery Attempt At Restaurant

January 15, 1988

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (AP) _ A table of 10 FBI agents abandoned their lunches at a Chinese restaurant to foil an armed robbery and chase the three suspects, officials said.

″They picked the wrong time to rob the restaurant,″ Canton Chinese Restaurant waitress Soun Whitfield said after the Thursday shootout between agents and the gunmen in this city 30 miles south of Miami.

One of the suspects was wounded seriously, and an FBI agent suffered superficial wounds, said FBI spokesman Paul Miller.

The incident began just after the agents were served their meals. One gunman waited outside while the other two told the cashier to hand over the receipts, about $200, Miller said.

Just then a linen delivery man walked in and the suspects panicked, grabbed a change tray and ran for the door, cashier Kenneth Choy said.

″It was a pure chance incident,″ Miller said. ″The agents were just having lunch, and (Agent Michael) Rising was the first one to see a robbery was taking place. He chased them outside and the shooting began as they were trying to get into their getaway car.″

Rising, 37, was released from Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami after treatment for superficial wounds to his hands, face and neck, Miller said.

Eric Lee Jones, 18, of Leisure City, was shot and was hospitalized at Jackson in serious condition. He was charged with attempted murder of a federal agent, Miller said.

Cornelius Crawford, 20, of Dade County, and an unidentified 16-year-old were arrested several hours later at a nearby apartment and charged with armed robbery and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, Miller said. He said he didn’t know how authorities located the two.

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