Man in custody after employee’s boyfriend breaks up armed robbery at massage parlor

Posted at 8:01 PM, Dec 31, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-31 22:01:46-05

SALT LAKE CITY — A man was taken into custody after he allegedly brandished a gun and demanded money from the employees at a massage parlor in Salt Lake City, but after an altercation inside the business the suspect fled but was tackled by a customer and an employee’s boyfriend who gave chase.

The incident occurred Thursday just after 6 p.m. at Lotus Massage, located at 54 West 2100 South.

Lt. Brian Purvis, Salt Lake City Police Department, said the incident began as an armed robbery attempt.

“We had a male suspect come into the massage business, he immediately brandished a handgun and demanded money from the employees,” he said. “It was a bit of a language barrier, they weren’t quite sure what he was asking for.”

There were two employees in the greeting area of the business when the suspect entered, but a short time later one of the employee’s boyfriends came to that area and confronted the suspect. An altercation ensued inside the business, causing some damage.

The suspect fled, but a customer and the employee’s boyfriend chased the man out onto the street and tackled him. That suspect, who has not yet been identified, is being interviewed by police.

There were no injuries reported in connection with the incident.

Purvis said in this case the citizens who got involved were successful in their attempts to confront the alleged criminal, but he said that confrontation isn’t always the best course of action.

“It’s really hard for me to say whether or not that was the right thing, again, it’s going to vary in every situation,” he said.