Pasco County beach bar employees robbed at gunpoint

A popular beachside restaurant in Pasco County was targeted by a pair of criminals Monday morning.

Employees at Sam's Hudson Beach Bar were held at gunpoint and the business says some were pepper sprayed.

"We were just coming to eat and watch the sunset and there's crime scene tape," a woman named Jennifer said.

Just after 8 a.m., Pasco County deputies say two men forced their way in, armed with a black handgun. 

Sam's Hudson Beach Bar posted on Facebook, "We have had the misfortune of being robbed this morning before we opened. A few staff members were pepper-sprayed and beaten up a bit but thank God they are OK!"

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"I saw the ambulance coming this way. I passed them up," said Bill Barror, who lives nearby.

It's unclear what or how much the suspects got away with. A nearby business' surveillance cameras caught them making their getaway in what deputies describe as a dark-colored, possibly blue, 4-door SUV, which may be a Chevrolet.

"Right on the water, beautiful area, I wouldn't expect anyone to come over here and do something like that," said Christina Cunningham.

The beach bar shut down for the day as detectives gathered evidence and employees took time to "settle and pick up the pieces," as the business posted. They promised to be back open Tuesday.

Neighbors and regulars walked away disappointed around dinner time, but relieved that no one was hurt. 

"Is there any place really safe?" Barror said. "Something happens everywhere, even in gated communities. Stuff happens. You've just got to keep your eye out like anyplace else."

Deputies say one suspect is about 6 feet tall, in his 30s with short, dirty blonde hair, blue eyes and tattoo sleeves on both arms. The other is around 5-foot-6 or 5-foot-7, possibly in his 20s with light brown hair.

Anyone with information regarding the suspects or the vehicle is asked to call the Pasco Sheriff’s Office Crime Tips Line at 1-800-706-2488.