"Finger Guns" Bandit Catches A Big Break

Felony charge dropped in Waffle House incident

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Finger Guns

DECEMBER 28--Prosecutors have dropped a felony charge against the Florida Man who allegedly walked into a Waffle House with his dog and, brandishing only “finger guns,” announced a robbery that netted him a handful of napkins, according to court records.

Edward Rodriguez, 28, was arrested in mid-October following a bizarre incident at a Waffle House near his home in Madison, a city 55 miles east of Tallahassee.

Cops say that Rodriguez walked into the restaurant around 8 PM and said, “Get on the ground, ya’ll are getting robbed.” He then added, “I’m high and drunk, I need napkins.”

A Waffle House manager told police that Rodriguez, who was accompanied by a small dog, did not brandish a weapon, but “just raised both his hands, and had his fingers in the shape of a gun,” according to an arrest report. A distraught waitress--whose hands shook when interviewed by deputies--said that the would-be robber was “pointing his fingers in the shape of a gun.”

After Rodriguez, pictured above, was given some napkins, he drove away from the Waffle House. Police subsequently identified Rodriguez as a suspect and questioned him at his residence. Rodriguez reportedly “admitted to being at the Waffle House to get some napkins” and stating that he “was going to rob the place,” investigators noted. Rodriguez, however, claimed that “the people must’ve taken it the wrong way.”

Rodriguez, wearing a SpongeBob SquarePants t-shirt, was booked into the county jail for unarmed robbery, a felony, and simple assault, a misdemeanor. He bonded out of custody after posting $10,000 bond.

A subsequent review of the case by prosecutors resulted in the robbery and assault charges being jettisoned in favor of a disorderly conduct rap.

Rodriguez, who was arraigned last week, has pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charge. His rap sheet includes convictions for grand theft; credit card fraud; burglary; marijuana possession; theft; possession of a controlled substance; and possession of burglary tools.

Rodriguez’s bond conditions require him to stay away from the Waffle House (seen below). He is also barred from possessing or drinking alcohol and possessing a firearm. Finger guns are not addressed in the judicial order. (2 pages)