ALTOONA, Iowa — Altoona police are searching for a man they say is armed with a gun and robbed an Altoona restaurant on Friday morning.
Police told Channel 13 earlier they were responding to an “active situation” at Spectators Sports Bar & Grill at 3200 Adventureland Dr.
They now say a suspect robbed the restaurant at 7:35 a.m. Police are searching for a black male described as five-foot-five and 150 pounds. He was wearing a white button-up shirt, blue tactical pants, brown shoes, and a dark ball cap.
The attached Adventureland Inn was evacuated so police could sweep it.
“This morning we were woken up by the police dressed in uniform telling us to get up put your shoes on and get out, basically. In my mind I was like ‘oh my gosh’ and I was thinking about my grandma, like I got to get grandma up, I got to put her shoes on and get her out. I didn’t know anything else so it was just like get up, get ready, lets get out,” said Adventureland Inn guest Hannah Underwood.
Police wasted no time in moving through the Inn while wearing full tactical gear.
“Everyone’s in their pajamas. There was a woman with a towel on her head. She was mid-shower and she got taken out,” said Underwood.
For several hours Friday morning, Altoona police searched the area around the restaurant, Prairie Meadows and Adventureland. People were asked to stay away from the area while police worked. Spectators reopened at 4 p.m. Friday.
A police officer on the scene told us a man who matched the suspect’s description was initially detained in the Target parking lot nearby, but they have determined he is not the man they are looking for.
Sgt. Alyssa Wilson with the Altoona Police Department said as of 11:25 a.m., the suspect is still at large, but they don’t believe the public is in any danger. You are still not advised to make contact with the suspect if you see him. Instead, call 911 immediately. Police have released high quality images from the Spectators security cameras.
“We’ve pushed that out to the local agencies and agencies in Iowa to see if anyone can identify the suspect. We’ve also pushed out the pictures on social media because somebody out there knows him and we would really like to know his name,” said Wilson.
Adventureland was closed Friday morning while the Suburban Emergency Response Team swept the park to make sure the suspect was not on the grounds. The park, hotel, and campgrounds have since re-opened.