Andrew Savoie, owner of Resident Taqueria, was working in the kitchen at his restaurant at Audelia and Walnut Hill Thursday night when he heard a commotion up front. A teen in a red hooded sweatshirt walked in and grabbed the tip jar from the counter near the cash register. The employee who witnessed the theft ran after the crook and three other teenagers, who darted across Walnut Hill and into the apartments across the street.
That’s when things really got scary. Describing the incident on Nextdoor.com, Andrew’s wife, Amy, shared what happened next.
“My husband, Andrew, drove down the alley behind Ravensway that backs up to The Trellis apartments. There he saw the four teenagers counting money. He stopped, got out of his car, and told them that the money belonged to his employees at the restaurant and asked them to give it back to him. The teenagers then jumped him and began kicking and beating him in the alley. Andrew broke free from the assault momentarily and ran into the median of Walnut Hill Ln to gain visibility from oncoming traffic in hopes of getting help. The teens followed him into the median and continued to beat and kick him and hit him with a cinderblock. Thankfully neighbors and passersby who witnessed the attack called 911, stopped their cars on both sides of the Walnut Hill Ln median, and began honking their horns. (A sincere thank you to our amazing neighbors for your assistance in saving Andrew from the attack; you know who you are and yesterday you were our heroes.) The teens fled into the nearby White Rock neighborhood (as confirmed by witnesses who saw them) and hid.”
Police and paramedics arrived quickly, Amy said, and Andrew survived the attack without significant physical injury. The thieves have not yet been arrested, although DPD detectives collected video and photo surveillance from Resident and surrounding businesses. They also took fingerprints from the scene.
“Andrew is guessing the ages of the four teens involved – three boys and one girl – to be between 14-18 years old,” said Amy, who also shared photos and video of the perps with LHHS and LHJH principals for identification. Multiple eyewitnesses say they’ll recognize the suspects if they’re caught by police, who have designated the violent offense as “burglary and assault.”
Since Amy’s message went up Saturday, more than 100 replies have been posted on Nextdoor and Facebook, including some who believe they have been victims of the same roving band of thieves. Others said youth need more positive activities to keep them out of trouble.
“I strongly admire your husband for sticking up for his employees and your business,” wrote Ashley Hernandez. “Prayers to a continued speedy recovery. These incidents need to stop occurring. DPD need to become ‘actively involved (directly)’ with youth in our community. Something as small as a FREE basketball game at a rec center once per month cops vs. kids or reading books to kids. Also, we need more activities in the neighborhood that low income families can actually afford, maybe a local theater such as Alamo would be willing to sponsor a $1 movie night twice a month. I am sure that would help steer youth in a positive direction.”
Many encouraged the Savoies to remain in the neighborhood.
“This makes me so sick to my stomach,” wrote David Standard. “Thank you for choosing to locate your restaurant in Lake Highlands! It’s important that we patronize our local businesses. Neighbors, please show your support.”
Resident Taqueria is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, 7-9 Tuesday to Friday and 8-9 Saturday. Sunday is family day for the Savoie/Clark family. Things got a little crazy on opening day in 2015 when Amy’s sister, Annie Clark – aka mega-star St. Vincent – helped out taking orders behind the counter. They’ve been named New Business of the Year by the Lake Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Best Taco by Advocate readers, among many other awards and accolades. Simply delicious.