CANTON, Ohio — Ulysses Davis had just started his morning shift at East Side Market in Canton. He was stocking a cooler when a white SUV pulled into the drive-thru. What happened next stunned the 63-year-old worker and left him wondering if his life was about to end.
"When they drove into the drive-thru, I just saw three doors open and all of them got out with weapons. The one had an assault rifle," Davis said.
Suddenly, Davis was pistol-whipped on the side of his face and pushed to the ground. The intruders struggled to open the cash registers. Davis crawled to his knees to open them.
"They pushed me back down on the floor and he took his foot and stepped on the side of my face and knocked me on the floor. And the one guy who had the assault rifle just stuck to my side," Davis recalled. "And he said, 'Welcome to the game.'"
Davis' left knee was scraped from the knockdown and he was terrified.
"The only thing I said was, 'Oh God, is this the way it's gonna end? Was I gonna live? Is this going to be the last thing I see is that floor?'"
The men, who wore hoodies covering most of their faces, sped off. They also took Davis's wallet and his cell phone.
"The next scariest thing is they got my address and everything. They got my license," he said.
Davis, along with Canton detectives, suspect the thieves are responsible for four other armed robberies that took place in the city after the hold-up at East Side Market. The brazen crimes took place over a 13-hour window.
Two of the robberies happened at a Speedway on 12th Street NW. Surveillance pictures from an 11:35 a.m. incident shows two men wearing hoodies robbing the store. One of them can be seen pointing a gun at an employee's head. At 7:07 p.m, the store was hit again. This time, security footage captured a man wearing a black hoodie, pulling a gun in front of several customers. In both cases, money was stolen.
Similar robberies were reported at a BP gas station on Tuscarawas Street West and a Subway on Dueber Avenue SW. In the BP case, a suspect pulled a gun from his waistband and demanded money from clerk. In the Subway case, two men held victims at gunpoint and one of them was hit in the head.
"They're animals. They should be in jail for the rest of their life," Davis said.
Canton police said they don't have any suspects and they're urging anyone with information to call the department or leave an anonymous tip by clicking, here.
As for Davis, he's unsure if he'll return to his job and he continues to count his blessings.
"Just thank God I'm still here. I thought it was over. I really did."