6 people take down man with knife at San Leandro restaurant

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ByAlan Wang KGO logo
Monday, July 14, 2014
6 people take down man with knife at San Leandro restaurant
At La Pinata restaurant in San Leandro a man started waving a large knife around and 6 people stepped up to take the man down.

SAN LEANDRO, Calif. (KGO) -- An out of control man with a knife went on a rampage at a local restaurant. Terrified diners ran for the door, but one group of employees and patrons refused to back down. Police are calling the people who stayed heroes.

Police say 26-year-old Jose Alas started waving a knife around inside La Pinata restaurant and it took six people to take him down.

"The fact that no one person got hurt is a miracle," witness David Coe said.

Coe was eating at La Pinata restaurant in San Leandro around 11 p.m. when he heard an outburst. He says six people, restaurant employees and patrons, were wrestling with Alas.

"That's when everyone saw it and someone yelled, 'He has a knife!' A bunch of people just started running out of the restaurant. It was pretty chaotic and scary," Coe said.

Alas, an off-duty employee, grabbed a 12-inch knife out of the kitchen. He was drinking at the bar when he began accusing others of stealing his cellphone.

"And he didn't let anybody out of the restaurant, and he started walking around the restaurant with this knife asking who had his cellphone," San Leandro Police Lt. Mike Sobek said.

That's when the employees and patrons caught him off guard and fought back.

"He was kind of swinging the knife around, even as people were holding him," Coe said.

Coe is a police academy recruit and happened to have handcuffs in his car.

"We had his arms out. Just to get the handcuffs on took a lot of strength and there five people just to get his arms close enough to get them on," Coe said.

But Alas was still kicking and fighting back, even after police arrived.

"He became violent with our officers and actually bit our officers in the leg," Sobek said.

Police charged Alas with brandishing a weapon and assaulting a police officer. However, if weren't for the people who subdued him, it could have been a lot worse.