KC Man Used Fake Gun in Foiled Independence Restaurant Robbery

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Kansas City, Mo., man who attempted to rob an Independence, Mo., restaurant with a fake gun, but was thwarted when employees fought back, pleaded guilty in federal court today to the robbery.

Bryan C. Byers, 23, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Roseann Ketchmark to one count of robbery.

Byers robbed Lucky Buffet, 2931 S. Noland Road in Independence, on Feb. 21, 2022. Byers, armed with what appeared to be a Glock handgun, approached two restaurant employees who were working near the sushi station in the restaurant. Investigators later learned the upper portion of the apparent handgun was an actual Glock, but the lower portion was from an airsoft pistol and was not designed to fire.

Byers pointed the apparent handgun at the two employees, who later told officers they feared for their lives, and told them they had five seconds to give him the cash from the cash register or he would kill them. The employees opened the register drawer and Byers began taking money from the register. One of the employees grabbed the apparent handgun from Byers and both employees began fighting with Byers. Byers attempted to get away but was restrained until police arrived. During the physical altercation, restaurant employees threw plates of food at Byers and repeatedly hit him with a chair to keep him from getting away.

Byers, who was on the floor of the restaurant, was arrested and transported to a local hospital for medical treatment. Police officers found approximately $873 scattered on the floor of the restaurant.

Under federal statutes, Byers is subject to a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David A. Barnes. It was investigated by the Independence, Mo., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Project Safe Neighborhoods

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.