On the evening of March 21, Sarpino’s Pizzeria on FM 1960 at Timber Forest Drive in Atascocita, was held up at gunpoint. Two men beat the restaurant’s delivery driver as he was taking out the trash and then, while one remained outside, the other man entered the restaurant, pointed a gun at the owners, and demanded cash. The gunman left with $500 from the register. As a result, nearly 50 fellow Greater Humble Area Chamber of Commerce members gathered for lunch at Sarpino’s on Friday to show their support for this local Italian favorite. “I have been a member of the chamber for a year. The chamber is important to my business and they are extremely supportive. I never would have thought that our situation would have entered their mind, said Sarpino’s owner, Albert Salinas. “There were a lot of people I didn’t even know that came for lunch. I don’t know how to thank them. Their presence brought on feelings of happiness, joy and appreciation that almost made me cry.” The chamber’s Director of Membership Jerri Bankston and Membership Coordinator Angie Gentry put together an e-mail and distributed it among chamber members, seeking support for their fellow business owners. There was an unbelievable amount of assistance from members who came and ate lunch at the restaurant, as well as orders that were called in over the phone. “It is good to see so many people show support of the restaurant. They took time out of their busy schedules with only one day of notice. This is the second time they gathered at a restaurant in a situation of this nature within the past three to four weeks, said fellow chamber member, Jack Wise. “Sarpino’s is the best pizza in Atascocita and Humble. Salinas is conscientious and provides quality service to his customers.” While reflecting on the past events, Salinas is grateful for the bravery of his delivery driver as well as the other employees who were on the clock at the time of the robbery. “We all appreciate life more as a result of this situation. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. It makes all of us a bit more thankful for the life that we have.” Salinas has owned Sarpino’s with his wife, Kathy, for two years. He has 15 years of leadership within the restaurant industry that is reflected through his employees. “Thanks to all my employees for their hard work and for the Chamber of Commerce for coming out to offer words of kindness in this time of stress,” said Salinas. The delivery driver, according to Salinas, has recovered from the attack. Salinas described the gunman as a white male, about 6 feet to 6-feet-two inches tall, weighing about 200 to 225 pounds. He had reddish hair and was unshaven. To offer continued support for Sarpino’s, community members may grab a delicious bite to eat for lunch or dinner at 5326 FM 1960 East in Atascocita. To place an order or inquire about restaurant hours, call 281-548-7492. Photo Caption: Albert and Kathy Salinas, proud owners of Sarpino’s Pizzeria on FM 1960 in Atascocita, appreciated the showing of support from chamber members after they were robbed. Photo by Beverly Reynolds