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Armed and Hungry, He Plays Hero's Role : Monterey Park Councilman Foils Robbers at Chinese Cafe

August 18, 1986|LYNN O'SHAUGHNESSY | Times Staff Writer

Monterey Park City Councilman Cam Briglio walked into a local Chinese restaurant early Sunday to buy a cup of spicy rice soup. He never got the soup, but to some he walked out a hero.

Briglio, single handedly, chased away two robbers who touched off pandemonium at the crowded Mei Tze Restaurant when they stormed in screaming and shooting a pistol, Monterey Park police said.

The robbers fled when Briglio, 54, pulled a small caliber gun from his belt and started shooting, police said.

During the gunfire exchange, Pei Patsy Lee, 29, of Los Angeles, was hit in the right upper hip. Police said they were investigating who fired the shot. She was treated and released at Garfield Medical Center.

Briglio said he decided to fight back when it appeared that lives were endangered. Upon entering the restaurant at 2 a.m., one of the suspects fired a shot at the ceiling and then fired again into the crowd, said Briglio. The other suspect yelled at the 50 to 60 patrons to give him their wallets, jewelry and keys.

"I was fearful for their lives and myself," Briglio said. "When he shot into the group I thought he was a maniac."

No suspects have been arrested in the case, said Sgt. O.C. Olsen. It was not known whether the councilman, who police said had a permit to carry a concealed weapon, had shot either of the men.

Briglio, who has served on the council three years, along with two other councilmen is a target of a recall attempt by a small group of voters unhappy with their positions denouncing cities that give sanctuary to political refugees and supporting English as the nation's official language.

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