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ONLY ON 9: Restaurant manager attacked at work

Posted at 7:15 PM, Sep 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-08 13:38:48-04

A restaurant manager continues to recover nearly a week after he and a co-worker were attacked while working.

Two men barged into the Chariot Pizza near Flowing Wells Road and Roger on September 1, one pepper sprayed an employee washing dishes while another ran through the kitchen toward the bar, where the cash register is.

The manager, Matt, who asked KGUN9 to not disclose his last name, was caught between the intruders and the bar. He explained what he remembers from that night during an exclusive interview with KGUN9. 

“I braced myself up against the door,” Matt said. “He was very strong.”

Faced with fight or flight Matt chose to fight.

“I stepped back the door swung open and he came toward me with his back,” Matt says he grabbed the man and wrestled him to the ground.  “At that point I didn't know there was a second person.”

Another suspect stabbed Matt in the abdomen, thigh, and knee. Six times total.
The first suspect then kicked him in the head.

“After the third kick everything started spinning,” security footage shows Matt sitting up, then laying back on the floor. “I thought of my family, my girlfriend, my mom,” he wondered if he would die.

Since the attack Alex Haider, 18, turned himself into Tucson police.
Matt says he fired Haider a couple of weeks ago but doesn’t believe the attack was motivated by revenge.

“When I let him go I said, ‘If we need you we'll give you a call,’” Matt explained. “It wasn't a negative firing situation.”

Matt still fears the other suspect may try to rob another restaurant but is confident police will eventually catch him.

Now he's focused on healing and says he is relieved he won’t need surgery.