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Man claims opiate addiction drove him to commit violent pizza shop robbery

Data pix.

SEATTLE -- A man was charged Monday in connection with a brazen assault and robbery while a young woman was closing up a White Center pizza shop last week.

The alleged thief in the case only made off with $40 from Southside Pizza, and he told the investigators he committed the robbery to feed his serious opiate addiction, according to court documents.

Court documents say the suspect is 27-year-old Vernon Jackson Jr. The documents say he was identified after the owner of Southside Pizza posted the shocking surveillance video on Facebook and a local bank employee recognized him, telling investigators he was a recent customer.

Using surveillance video from the bank and transaction records, detectives identified Jackson. Jackson told investigators he thought the pizza shop's office would be empty and was surprised to see the young woman inside.

The video shows she put up quite a fight and struggled with the suspect for the door in the office. We spoke with that employee, Brittany, just a few days after the attack.

She recalled a part of the attack in vivid detail.

"He smashed into me and I honestly was just scared for my own body, that was my first reaction," she said. "I jumped on the counter in the office and I started kicking him to get off of me and I was screaming but nobody could hear me."

Brittany says while the attack was scary, she knew she'd get through it if she stayed strong and protected  herself. According to court documents, Jackson has a criminal record ranging from burglary as a juvenile to reckless driving and domestic violence assault as an adult.

Court documents say he was waiting to stand trial for DUI and hit and run when he allegedly committed this robbery.

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