Local bar owner held at gunpoint Friday

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 13, 2009

NATCHEZ — Less than an hour after being held up at gunpoint Friday morning ,Under-the-Hill Saloon owner Andre Farish was hard at work stocking the bar for the morning crowd.

Farish said as he was preparing to open the bar, a man with a gun entered the bar and attempted to rob him.

“I turned around and he was standing there with a pistol,” Farish said. “He just said ‘Give me the money.’”

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Farish, who was standing between the bar and the stockroom, then ran through the stockroom and locked himself in the office where he called the police.

While Farish said the man threatened to shoot him through the door, nothing was taken.

Natchez Police Department was on the scene moments after the call, but officers were unable to find the attempted robber.

Farish said the would-be-robber, a young black man, wore a bandana over his face.

Natchez Police Sgt. Justin Robinson said surveillance videos from the Isle of Capri Casino have been reviewed and do show several individuals that fit the description Farish provided.

Robinson described Farish’s description as “very generic” and said there are no suspects at this time.

“We have no idea where he went,” Robinson said. “Right now it’s an open investigation.”

However one piece of evidence recovered in the bar may provide authorities with a lead they need.

Robinson said the magazine from a handgun believed to be used in the robbery was found behind the bar and will be dusted for fingerprints.

Robinson said after examining the magazine he believes it fits a replica pistol, which fires plastic pellets.

Robinson said while replica guns are virtually indistinguishable from real firearms they do have an orange tip over the barrel that can be removed.

“(Farish) would not have known the difference,” Robinson said.

Farish said he expected that if he stayed in the bar business long enough he’d eventually get robbed.

“If you do this long enough it’s inevitable,” he said stocking the cooler with beer. “I knew this would happen sooner or later.”