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Knife-Wielding Sushi Chef Defends Restaurant Against Robber

The suspect was arrested and charged with aggravated robbery.


One Illinois-based sushi chef was forced to put his knife skills to use in a different context earlier this week, when a man attempted to rob his restaurant. According to the Chicago Tribune, chef Tetsuji Miwa — who works at Kamakura Japanese restaurant in Champaign — used his expensive sushi knife to thwart a thief.

On Tuesday, a 23-year-old man walked into the restaurant in the evening and pulled what appeared to be a revolver on the 17-year-old hostess. The robber then demanded cash from the register. Miwa told the the Champaign News-Gazette that the man "just stood there and started asking for money. I saw [the hostess'] face. She was very scared." So he kept into action: Miwa grabbed his sushi knife and walked up to the man. He then wrapped his arm around his shoulder and and asked him what he wanted. Once the man saw the blade, he "got scared and started running."

The thief was unable to get away, however. Miwa and two of his co-workers managed to wrestle the man to the ground after the restaurant's assistant manager cracked him over the head with a stool. The 23-year-old — who was attempting to steal some cash to pay back a drug dealer — was arrested and charged with aggravated robbery, intimidation, and aggravated battery.

While the story has a happy ending, Miwa tells the Champaign News-Gazette that he really didn't want to have to use his knife which is "pretty expensive." As soon as his co-workers came out to help take down the man, Miwa says he set the knife "down to the ground very carefully" so to not damage the blade.