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Guilty plea for robber who tipped Lyndhurst barmaid $20

Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter

ONLY ON CVP: A man who police said tipped a Lyndhurst bartender $20 after holding up the place pleaded guilty to two robberies today in exchange for a pair of eight-year prison sentences.

Donald Tuohy of Lyndhurst likely will be sentenced to 12 years, of which he’ll have to serve a little over ten before being eligible for parole.

“I’m desperate. I don’t want to hurt anyone,” Lyndhurst police said Tuohy, 50, told the barmaid while pointing an illegal .25-caliber handgun at her during the April 20, 2012 robbery.

She gave him $138. He gave her a twenty back, police told CLIFFVIEW PILOT at the time.

Tuohy, who has prior convictions in Bergen County for narcotics offenses in 1999 and 2000, also admitted an attempted robbery 11 days earlier in Rutherford.

Tuohy remained held on $450,000 bail.

It was a Saturday night around 6:15 when he walked into The Locker Room on Stuyvesant Avenue, Lyndhurst police said at the time.

After using the bathroom, he asked the 26-year-old barmaid for a tap beer, they said. She said they had only bottles, so he ordered a Budweiser, the chief said, Lyndhurst Police Chief Jim O’Connor told CLIFFVIEW PILOT.

As she was getting it, O’Connor said, Tuohy pulled a handgun from his left jacket pocket — then began apologizing for robbing her.

Tuohy then took a twenty from the fistful of cash she’d just handed him and left it on the bar for her, the chief added.

Later that night, Detective Ronald Guirland and Detective Sgt. John Kerner reviewed surveillance video from the tavern and nearby businesses and canvassed the neighborhood. They quickly identified the car the robber was driving, which police said had distinctive damage.

They then arrested Tuohy at his home without incident. They also recovered the gun, which the indictment says he didn’t have a permit for.

Rutherford detectives soon became interested in Tuohy in connection with the April 9 attempted holdup of a Delta gas station on Park Avenue.

In that case, the attendant told police a man drove up in a four-door silver sedan — possibly a mid 90’s Toyota — then got out and asked for $20 worth of gas.

The attendant said the driver then asked whether he could break a hundred-dollar bill, and he said he did.

At that point, he said, the man demanded all of his cash. The attendant said he told him the money was in a safe, but then he “motioned to his pocket” and said he’d shoot him if didn’t comply.

He said the would-be robber fled empty-handed after he threatened to call police.

Rutherford Detective Kevin Scannell later found the gas cap to the driver’s car, Capt. Patrick Feliciano told CLIFFVIEW PILOT.

STORY / PHOTOS: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter

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