Police: Man who tried to rob Hardee's on Valentine's Day was trying to please girlfriend

A Springfield man is behind bars after he allegedly tried to rob a Hardee's on Valentine's Day.

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Court records say 35-year-old Eric Dean walked into the restaurant just after 8 p.m. with a green and black bandanna covering on his face and threatened an employee with a butcher knife.

When the employee declined to give him any money, Dean said he had a gun and would shoot employees if they didn’t do what he wanted, court records state.

A different employee chased Dean out of the restaurant, and he fled the scene on his bike.

Jamie Skaggs, an employee at Hardee’s said she wasn’t working at the the time of the incident, but was concerned about her co-workers who were. She said the employee who was threatened with the knife was a little shaken up, but seemed to be doing alright.

“I wanted to make sure they were OK,” she said. “I’m glad he didn’t get anything.”

She said she was surprised when her manager confirmed the news she had seen on Facebook, but she wasn’t surprised when she learned who the suspect was.

She said she’s familiar with the man.

“I was friends with him for years a while back,” Skaggs said.

Records say Springfield police officers caught up with Dean in the 2200 block of Clifton Avenue shortly after the incident. Court records say Dean eventually confessed to the crime.

“He advised he has been going through some tough times right now financially and was only trying to get enough money to pay his electric bill. He also said that his current girlfriend was pressuring him to come up with money soon or she was going to leave him,” an affidavit says.

Officers found the knife that Dean allegedly used in the robbery in a nearby driveway, with a black backpack that was used to conceal the knife.

Dean was jailed and appeared in Clark County Municipal Court on charges of aggravated robbery and tampering with evidence.

Dean told visiting judge Thomas Hanna that he lost his job within the last week.

Not guilty pleas were entered for him and his bond was set at $75,000.