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EXCLUSIVE: Red Lobster manager pistol-whipped by coworker recounts 'traumatic' armed robbery

Police say Ta'shambae Greene, a cook at the restaurant, held two employees at gunpoint
Posted at 8:30 PM, Jun 15, 2024

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Navarda Perez's sense of safety and security is "shattered" after getting pistol-whipped four times by a coworker during a violent armed robbery at Red Lobster.

Perez, a manager at the restaurant on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard, said she was inside the office counting money when a masked man hit her with a gun, pushed her multiple times and demanded she open the safe.

The armed robbery happened on April 14 around 11 p.m. after the restaurant closed for the night, according to the West Palm Beach Police Department.

Greene June 2014.png

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"All I saw at first was just the gun…then he pushed my dish guy down to the floor, told him to put his face down and then he grabbed me out of the chair and told me to open the safe," Perez recalled. "I complied with everything, but yet I still kept getting hit in my head with the gun."

On Thursday, nearly two months after the robbery, police announced the arrest of Ta'shambae Greene.

Greene, 35, was a cook at the Red Lobster and police said he returned to the restaurant four hours after his shift ended to commit the crime.

Perez told WPTV reporter Cassandra Garcia that Greene got upset after she cut his shift early because the restaurant was slow that Sunday night.

"He ended up being really aggressive and disrespectful towards me, but then he ended up leaving," she said.

Perez recognized Greene’s voice during the robbery and the way he walked on surveillance video, which led detectives to his home in Broward County.

On April 26, police executed a search warrant at Greene's home and found clothing, a large amount of cash and a gun that matched the description of the weapon used at the scene. The U.S. Marshal's South Florida Fugitive Task Force helped track him down weeks later on June 13.

"I don't have to keep looking over my shoulder. I don't have to keep worrying. It is a relief, but at the same time it's still a struggle because I still have fear," Perez said. "I literally could not leave the house."

Perez said she was fired by Red Lobster four days after the armed robbery. She said management accused her of not locking the back door. Perez disputes Red Lobster’s claims. She told WPTV she locked the door before going into the office; however, other employees were in the process of taking garbage to the dumpster.

WPTV reached out to Red Lobster for comment about the incident and Perez's firing. As of Saturday night, Red Lobster did not respond.

"My company showed no sympathy," said Perez. "It was my fault for leaving the back door [open], which I locked the back door."

Making the situation even harder to understand, Perez said she was in the process of helping Greene with personal matters related to his child.

"This was somebody that I talked to every day," she said. "For him to turn around and do this to me, like, no heart."

Greene faces one count of robbery, two counts of false imprisonment, one count of wearing a mask while committing a crime and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.