At around 3:30 a.m. on Tuesday, the Lorefice family say they were awoken by a loud bang. The family, including three sisters, Lucy (26), Sabrina (22), and Adriana (17), lives on top of their Danforth Avenue mediterranean restaurant called “Trecce.”
When the three sisters came downstairs just outside of the front door of the restaurant, they said they were confronted by a man on the inside of the restaurant who lunged at them through the broken glass door.
“When he jumped on me, I head locked him and he bit me over here,” said Sabrina Lorefice, pointing to her hand.
Dramatic restaurant security video obtained by Global News appeared to show the three sisters apprehending and restraining the suspect for several minutes before Toronto police arrived on the scene.
“As this is happening, he’s telling us, ‘Oh, I have a knife. I’m going to kill you guys,'” said Sabrina.
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“That’s what he said, he’s like, ‘I’m going to kill you guys. I have a knife on me,’ and we were like, we’re shocked at this point because we’re already on him,” said Lucy.
The Lorefice sisters told Global News that several of their Danforth Avenue small business neighbours have been the victim of recent break-ins.
“This man needed to be caught because, especially through a time like this. Restaurants are struggling and especially paying for a new door, paying for a new (cash register) cashier, it’s not cheap,” said Sabrina, who posted the takedown on a Facebook group.
The post received dozens of supportive comments from members of the community.
Police said officers arrested 52-year-old Jesus Valverde after the break-in at the restaurant. He was charged with break-and-enter, possession of burglar tools, failure to comply with a release order, two counts of failure to comply with probation and four counts of assault.
Meanwhile, family members said they closed the restaurant on Tuesday so they can rest and nurse the injuries they sustained. However, they said they will reopen for takeout service on Wednesday.