Police: Man Stuck in Pizzeria Oven Vent Arrested on Burglary Charges


A man who was rescued from a pizzeria’s oven vent is now facing burglary charges, police say.

Monroe County Sheriff’s deputies found Richard Graham, 53, of Rochester stuck in an air vent above Pontillo’s Pizzeria in suburban Rochester, New York, after responding to someone who reported a man yelling for help inside the establishment, the Associated Press reported.

David Reed told WHAM he was hanging up Christmas lights next door when he noticed someone yelling for help.

“I was asking, ‘Where are you?’ – and same thing – ‘Get me out of here!’ I said, ‘Okay I’ll find out who can go up there and look,'” said Reed.

Penfield Fire Department arrived on the scene and released Graham from the vent after 20 minutes of trying to get him out.

“He was as far down as he could go without coming out on top of an oven,” Earl Lubanski, Penfield assistant fire chief, told the Democrat and Chronicle. “The ductwork got narrower as you get down closer to the kitchen.”

Graham was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries before he was released to deputies.

Graham was arraigned in Penfield Town Court on charges of third degree burglary, second degree criminal mischief, and possession of burglary tools.

He was sent to Monroe County Jail without bail because of his status as a repeat offender.

Graham was responsible for causing more than $2,000 of damage to the pizzeria, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

New York State Department of Corrections records show that Graham has served six prison sentences since 1986. His first conviction was for robbery and burglary.

He had been released from prison on November 21 after serving a sentence where he pleaded guilty to two felony charges.

He is scheduled to be sentenced next week.