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Bar Louie Robbery Defendants Sent to State Prison

March 3, 2016


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Christopher Rees, 215.348.6341, cwrees@buckscounty.org

The final two of five defendants who robbed and terrorized workers at a Bensalem restaurant were sentenced to state prison Wednesday in Bucks County Court. The sentencings came after the pair were convicted by a jury following a five-day trial in October.

William Anthony Moreno, 21, of Philadelphia, was sentenced to six to 12 years in state prison, plus a consecutive eight years of probation. He was convicted of approximately 35 crimes, including seven counts of first-degree felony robbery.

Patrick McElheney, 28, of Philadelphia, was sentenced to two and one-half to five years in state prison, plus a consecutive five years of probation. McElheney went to Bar Louie on Oct. 10, 2014, but remained outside in a car during the robbery. He was convicted of four counts of criminal conspiracy, including three felonies.

The sentencings concluded the prosecution of a crime in which seven employees of Bar Louie were accosted by armed and masked robbers after closing time. The men threatened the victims with guns and knives, assaulted them, robbed them of car keys, cell phones and other possessions, and forced the manager to open an office safe containing approximately $10,000.

The victims were then “herded” into a walk-in freezer and forced to lie face-down, said Deputy District Attorney Christopher Rees, who prosecuted the case. After 20 minutes, several employees left the freezer and called police.

“I use the word `herded’ because they were not treating those people as humans,” Rees told Judge Wallace H. Bateman Jr. “They were treated like animals.”

Bateman, calling the facts of the case “quite egregious,” said the victims had no idea whether they were about to be killed. “Some, if not all, of these victims had real and legitimate concerns that their lives were about to end that night,” the judge said.

Moreno, who had no prior criminal record, blamed his actions on an addiction to heroin. “I made a horrible mistake,” he told Bateman. The night of the robbery, “I was out of my mind; I was under the influence.”

McElheney read a statement in which he said he was “sorry for the terrible things that people have endured” as a result of his actions.

Three other men already had been sentenced for their roles in the crime.

In September, Jose Torres, 42, of Philadelphia, was sentenced to serve nine to 20 years in state prison, followed by five years of consecutive probation.

In January, Julian Justiniano, 25, of Philadelphia, was sentenced to serve six to 12 years in state prison, followed by eight years of consecutive probation.

Also sentenced in January was Randy Sanchez, 28, of Philadelphia. Sanchez had been working at Bar Louie for several weeks before the crime, and two of the victims recognized his voice and expressions he used. He received a five-to-10-year state prison sentence and 20 years of concurrent probation.

Bar Louie and the individual victims are owed restitution totaling approximately $33,000. All five defendants share responsibility for repaying it.

Approved for release by Jennifer Schorn, Deputy District Attorney.

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