The owner of a Hauppauge restaurant said Monday that a desperate appeal from the mother of a burglar caught on a viral video eating bananas and other food inside the empty eatery convinced him not to pursue criminal charges.
“I took pity on his mother,” said John Robertson, 53, the owner of the Adams Avenue restaurant, The Sexy Salad. “She called me in a panic. She said ‘my son was the banana guy.’ ”
The video showed the burglar, who police did not identify, eating inside the restaurant at about 1:45 a.m. Saturday before urinating into a garbage can and falling asleep on the floor.
“His mother recognized him,” Robertson said. “Everybody recognized him.”
Robertson said the restaurant, which caters to nearby office buildings, shuts down at 4 p.m. daily and is closed weekends.
When he checked his phone messages, Robertson said he heard a frantic call from the 19-year-old burglar’s mother. He returned the woman’s call and assured her “we could work it out,” Robertson said.
“He apologized and I said that as long as he had no criminal record I would not press charges,” Robertson said of the burglar.
Suffolk police would not comment about whether the burglar had a criminal record but Robertson said they told him the man’s record was clean.
“Besides, it was partly my vendor’s fault. A delivery person was negligent and didn’t lock a door,” he said. “It’s not like the kid was walking around with a crowbar. He was drunk, out of it. I didn’t want to ruin his life.”
Robertson declined to identify the burglar.
“He was appreciative,” Robertson said.
With John Valenti