WORCESTER — An alleged robber picked the wrong Joe.
District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. was about to pay for his plain cheese pizza at Ciao Bella on Grove Street around 6:30 p.m. Sunday when he felt a hand grab his.
“I was just getting a pizza to bring home,” he said. “I went to take some money out of the billfold and all of a sudden I saw a hand come across and grab it.”
The man grabbing the district attorney’s hand was identified as Jason P. Beaudreau, 27, of 17 Maplewood Road.
Early refused to let go of the money and other items.
“When I saw the hand coming over, I got angry, and that’s when I just dropped my shoulder a little bit and pushed him into the wall,” Early said.
Early told an employee at the restaurant that he was being robbed. As Early pinned Beaudreau against the wall, another patron recognized him and jumped in to help. He was Joe Hanrahan, a court officer in the Worcester Trial Court.
Hanrahan helped hold Beaudreau, and the two men pulled him outside into the parking lot.
A third man helped hold Beaudreau until police arrived.
“The court officer and the other guy, they were the real heroes,” Early said. “If they hadn’t been there, we wouldn’t have been able to keep the guy until police got there.”
Beaudreau was arraigned Monday in Central District Court on charges of assault and battery, unarmed robbery, disturbing the peace, and disorderly conduct.
Essex County Assistant District Attorney Kelleen Forlizzi asked for $10,000 cash bail, but Judge Steven Thomas placed Beaudreau on $2,000 cash bail and ordered him to stay away from the alleged victim and witnesses in the case.