Masked men attack South Freo restaurant, police ask for public help


A still from CCTV footage of the incident.
A still from CCTV footage of the incident.

TWO masked men attacked a South Fremantle restaurant with hammers in front of terrified diners in what police believe was retaliation for a failed extortion bid.

At 2.15pm on Saturday October 1, police were called to Ruocco’s Pizzeria after claims two people with their faces covered had entered the restaurant with hammers and began smashing glass display cabinets and fridge doors.

Police say the business owner had received a number of threats that he and his staff would be assaulted if he refused to hand over protection money on a regular basis.

While police were at the scene, one man in question, a 25-year-old man from Jandakot, entered the restaurant and was arrested, charged with demanding property by oral threats.

He was refused bail on October 2 and will front Fremantle Magistrates Court again on October 18.

Major Fraud Squad detective first class constable Lorena Cruz Parker said they wanted anybody with information about the identity of the second person to come forward.

“We are continuing our inquiries to identify the second person involved,” she said.

“I ask anyone who was in the area at the time, and who saw the incident take place, to come forward and make contact via Crime Stoppers.

“We would also like to speak to anyone who has information regarding the identity of the people involved.”

Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.