Police are searching for the suspects, Jennifer Hiller, 31, and John Tedesco, 29. The pair fled the scene with bits of crab shell and garlic butter on their hands, and they were spotted wearing paper bibs with the slogan: “Let’s Get Cracking.”
Authorities said the victim, a 1-year-old Snow Crab from Dutch Harbor, Alaska, was in stable condition at Santa Rosa Hospital, recovering from multiple stab wounds.
“As of yet, we do not have a clear motive,” said Detective Randy Bower. “The poor crab obviously did nothing to provoke such a brutal attack. It just doesn’t make sense.”
Onlookers at Joe’s Crab Shack, located on the River Walk downtown, were shocked.
“We were sitting right by the guy and his girlfriend and I heard the woman say she was starving,” said witness Teressa Baldwin, whose family was visiting the city from Cleveland.
“Then the waitress brought a cute little crab to their table — you know, to keep them company and lighten the mood. Suddenly, they just went totally ballistic and attacked the crab! It was freaky. They had a crazed, hungry look in their eyes. And the crab was too scared to scurry away.”
Employees of Joe’s Crab Shack immediately called police and the suspects ran. Witnesses said Tedesco and Hiller tried to cover up the crime by cleaning the mess with handi-wipes.
“This was a freak accident. Joe’s Crab Shack is a company of peace, tolerance, and funky T-shirts, not violence,” said Cliff Henderson, regional assistant manager of the restaurant chain, at a press conference near the crime scene.
“If you have any information about the people responsible for this heinous crime, please call authorities,” Henderson added. “We need to get these monsters off the streets.”