Man facing charges after allegedly threatening staff of South Heidelberg restaurant with knife

A man is facing charges for allegedly waving a large knife around the kitchen of a South Heidelberg Township restaurant Saturday, after being told by the owner to leave as he was not scheduled to work that day.

On Saturday, June 25th at 3:58pm, South Heidelberg Township Police Officers were dispatched to Salute Ristorante Italiano in South Heidelberg Township for a report of a male that was in the kitchen waving a large knife around, forcing the rest of the staff to flee out of the restaurant.

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Employees told police that the male, identified as Benny R. Carver, a 51-year-old resident of the Wernersville Community Corrections Center, entered the kitchen and told the owner that he did not return to the Corrections Center last evening and wanted to work today.

According to police, when the business owner informed Carver that he was not working on Saturday, and that he should leave, Carver picked up a large kitchen knife from the counter and began waving it around and pointing it at other members of the kitchen staff. Carver then stated that he would kill the Police when they came.

When Officers responded, Carver fled out the rear door of the restaurant, and was not initially located.

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Responding Officers contacted the Western Berks Fire Department to assist with the search of the suspect with their drone, which was quickly able to locate Carver behind the complex in a wooded area.

With the assistance of the aerial live video footage, Officers were able to follow Carver as he then fled on a bicycle and directed Officers where Carver fled to and hid in a thick area of brush near the Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks adjacent to Caramist Drive.

Upon Officers making contact with Carver, police say he urged Officers to shoot him, and then lunged at South Heidelberg Officer Mitchell Cole, who deployed his Taser, and incapacitated Carver, allowing assisting Officers to safely place him into custody.

Carver has been charged with 5 counts of terroristic threats, 3 Counts of Simple Assault, instruments of crime, disorderly conduct, and flight to avoid apprehension.

While the South Heidelberg Township Police Department has used the drone capabilities of the Western Berks Fire Department on several prior occasions to assist with searches of missing persons and investigations, this is the first instance where the drone was able to actively track a suspect’s movements and help direct Officers to respond accordingly.

In addition to Officers from South Heidelberg, Officers from Sinking Spring and Lower Heidelberg Township assisted on the incident.

Anyone with information about the incident can call South Heidelberg Police at (610) 670-9885, or Crime Alert Berks at 1 (877) 373-9913. Witnesses to criminal acts can also text Crime Alert Berks County’s anonymous tip line by texting 847411 and starting your message with the word ALERTBERKS + your tip. Crime Alert Berks will reward callers for information that leads to an arrest.

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