An Oil City man has been charged in Lawrence County in connection with a restaurant robbery in New Castle.
Officials say 22 year-old Ward Wise could be tried on as many as 15 counts.
Wise was charged in New Castle, was arraigned late last week, and was lodged in the Lawrence County Jail on $50,000 bail. Also charged in the robbery is 18 year-old Emily Book, from New Castle, who police say was Wise’s getaway driver. Bail for Book was set at $7,500.
Wise is accused of robbing a New Castle restaurant-and-bar where he had reportedly once worked of about $2,000 in cash late on the evening of January 16. A bartender and five customers told police the robber was brandishing a rifle. Investigators later said the weapon was actually a plastic B-B gun constructed in the style of an M4 rifle.
Wise was arrested shortly after the robbery in Neshannock when a township police officer spotted a man fitting the robber’s description. Police in Neshannock say they man they apprehended dropped a bag containing money as he tried to climb inside a waiting car.