- The Washington Times - Monday, December 29, 2003

The pizza-delivery man shot in an affluent Prince George’s community said yesterday he fled India for a better life — but this is the second time in a year that he has been robbed.

Vinay Harnal, 27, was making a delivery on Sunday night at about 6:30 in the 8200 block of Cagel Road in Oxon Hill when he was approached by two masked gunman.

“One demanded money,” Mr. Harnal said during a phone interview from his bed at an area hospital.

Mr. Harnal said he told one of the gunmen to take his money, but the man changed his mind after Mr. Harnal reached into his back pocket.

“I just stood there, and he started shooting,” he said.

Residents said yesterday Mr. Harnal was shot in a dimly lit area of the lightly wooded community, which overlooks the Potomac River. They also said the crime scene was near a construction site with homes expected to sell for as much as $1 million.

“The most that has ever happened around here is your car gets dinged up by a deer,” said Chuck Johnson, 32, who lives down the street from where the shooting took place. “I am surprised. It’s a nice neighborhood. Nothing ever happens around here.”

Mr. Harnal works full time as a truck driver and was moonlighting for Papa John’s Pizza in Fort Washington.

“I just came back for a part-time job, just to make a little money,” he said.

Mr. Harnal was listed in stable condition yesterday with bullet wounds to his back and stomach. He was not injured during the first robbery in January.

Ashwinee Singh, a manager at the Papa John’s where Mr. Harnal works, was in disbelief yesterday.

“He doesn’t have a bad status in this country,” Mr. Singh said. “He is a nice guy.”

Mr. Singh added that the carry-out restaurant has about one robbery a month.

“It’s my policy if anybody comes to rob, to give them the money,” he said.

Al Sandidge lives across the street from the shooting scene and, like Mr. Johnson, was watching football on TV when he heard gunshots.

“It is unusual,” Mr. Sandidge said. “There is no real reason for a robber to come down here on a Sunday at 6 p.m., when most people are home looking at TV or preparing to go to work the next day.”

Prince George’s County Police have not released a description of the robbers.


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