Savannah man pleads guilty in robbery that left soldier shot

Crime & Safety

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A Savannah man was arrested and charged after admitting to taking part in a March 2019 robbery of a bar that left a U.S. Army serviceman wounded.

Anthony Curtis Raife, 24, pled guilty to Possessing a Short-Barreled Shotgun in Furtherance of a Violent Crime in U.S. District Court. This charge carries a minimum of 10 years in prison and up to life in prison, followed by a period of supervised release.

“Violent criminals have no place in our community except behind bars,” said U.S. Attorney Christine. “It’s fortunate that the good Samaritan who attempted to intervene in this robbery has recovered, and that his actions and those of our law enforcement partners helped take this violent criminal off the street.”

According to court documents and testimony, Raife and another man robbed the Brewer’s Sports Pub and Grill on Ogeechee Road on March 24, 2019. Both were armed. Raife carried a short-barreled shotgun that he pointed at patrons during the robbery.

A bar customer, who was an active-duty U.S. Army serviceman, witnessed the robbery and helped people inside escape. The serviceman then went unarmed to the back of the store and punched Raife in the face, knocking the gun out of Raife’s hands.

The serviceman was shot by the other robber. Both robbers fled the scene, and the soldier was treated and has since recovered.

Raife was located and arrested.

“This case exemplifies the danger posed to innocent people when criminals use weapons to commit crimes in places of business,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “We are fortunate that a brave soldier did not lose his life because of this brazen act of violence. We are also grateful for his actions and the actions of our local law enforcement partners who were instrumental in bringing this suspect to justice.”

Anyone with information about this robbery is asked to call the FBI at 912-790-3100 or the Chatham County Police Department Tip Line at 912-650-6161.

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