Two masked men approached the employees at Golden Corral Restaurant at 4394 Gleneste-Withamsville Road in Eastgate April 13 while employees were closing up. The men were brandishing a sawed off shotgun and forced their way into the restaurant.
The employees were herded together at gunpoint in a common area of the restaurant, and then had their hands and feet zip tied together essentially being hog-tied.
One of the victims, the manager of the restaurant, was subsequently untied and forced into the office of the restaurant at gunpoint.
While being held at gunpoint, the assailants had the manager begin to empty the restaurant’s safe and place money into their bag. The safe was armed with a silent alarm that the manager was able to initiate without the assailants knowledge.
While the manager continued to empty the safe, the alarm company called the restaurant. The assailants held the manager at gun point, forced him to answer the call and indicate everything was alright.
Despite the manager’s assurances, the Union Township Police Department was dispatched to the restaurant.
Officer Brown of Union Township Police Department was the first officer to arrive on scene, and entered the restaurant not knowing the armed assailants were still back in the office.
Upon entry Officer Brown observed the employees tied up on the ground and was able to communicate via hand signals to learn the assailants were still inside the restaurant.
Officer Brown then retreated and a perimeter was set up outside the restaurant. After the assailants emptied the safe of almost $1,000, they exited through the rear of the restaurant and were stopped at gunpoint by Union Township Police Officer Milne.
Officers Milne and Kresser were able to secure the assailants, their firearm, and the US Currency stolen from the restaurant. The two individuals apprehended at the scene were Kenneth Chipemba and Kabinga Reuben Kwambana. The entire incident was recorded on the restaurant’s surveillance system.
County Prosecutor D. Vincent Faris, as well as Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Lara A. Baron, handled both cases, and on Oct. 8, Kenneth Chipemba entered pleas of guilty to four counts of Kidnapping, all felonies of the first degree.
Shortly thereafter, on Oct. 16, Kabinga Kwambana also entered guilty pleas to four counts of Kidnapping, all felonies of the first degree. Both defendants are facing a maximum possible prison sentence of 44 years, and are awaiting sentencing.
Both defendants will be sentenced by Judge Richard Ferenc in the Clermont County Court of Common Pleas.