A DeKalb County man has been sentenced after robbing multiple Waffle House restaurants and a hotel.

Joseph Orlando Hood, described by officials as a career offender, committed armed robbery at three different Waffle Houses where he shot a customer and nearly struck a Waffle House employee. He then went on to hit an employee on the head with the butt of his gun, knocking the employee unconscious, during a motel robbery.

Orlando committed his crimes within the span of a week, and two of the restaurant robberies occurred on the same day.

“Hood threatened the lives of multiple citizens and law enforcement officers during his crime spree,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “He demonstrated a complete lack of concern for the victims in this case and justly deserved this lengthy prison sentence.”

“Criminals who choose to use guns to harm or intimidate their victims have no regard for others,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Arthur Peralta. “Mr. Hood initiated those acts of violence and his actions placed many innocent people at risk of great bodily harm or worse.”

Hood’s robbing spree ended during the early morning hours of November 17, 2016. That day, Hood entered a local bar and grill restaurant and walked towards a backroom where customers were seated. Hood pointed two firearms at the customers and demanded money. While Hood was taking money from the customers, one of the men tried to escape. Hood fired his gun at the man and chased him through the bar, while firing additional rounds.

After fleeing the restaurant, Hood exchanged gunfire with the bar’s owner. During the gun battle, the bar owner shot Hood in the leg. Hood then fled to a nearby apartment complex, where DeKalb County police officers arrested him. The officers transported Hood to a local hospital from which Hood subsequently escaped. Shortly after, Atlanta Police officers apprehended him.

Hood, 32, of Scottsdale, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones to 39 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release. On February 12, 2019, a jury found Hood guilty of four counts of Hobbs Act robbery and four counts of brandishing a firearm during those robberies.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the DeKalb County Police Department.

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