Man indicted in IHOP robbery

Brandon Williams

A man accused of beating a restaurant manager with a baseball bat and stealing thousands of dollars in cash from the business was indicted Monday by a Warren County Circuit Court grand jury on charges of malicious wounding, and two counts of armed robbery.

Brandon Scott Williams, 28, of 1409 Belmont Ave. has been held without bond in the Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail since his arrest in May after authorities accused him of robbing the IHOP restaurant at 135 Crooked Run Plaza Road in Front Royal.

The restaurant’s assistant manger, John P. Vallerie, suffered a possible broken nose, a cut and bruises to the head and scrapes to his neck when a masked man assaulted him with an aluminum baseball bat in the restaurant’s office.

The assailant stole an estimated $5,000 to $6,000 from a safe after the injured Vallerie agreed to open it. The masked man then fled the building with the money.

Authorities said they identified Williams as the masked man after they recovered a cell phone at the crime scene and traced it to him.

The cell phone contained messages between Williams and Zachary Shawn Marquess, 22, of 366 W. 11th St., Front Royal. Law enforcement officials stated that the messages showed Williams and Marquess, both of whom worked at IHOP, plotting the robbery hours earlier.

Court documents say the masked intruder entered the restaurant through a doorway leading into the kitchen at about 4:20 a.m.

Williams appeared in court with his defense attorney, John Bell. Circuit Judge Ronald Napier scheduled another hearing for Aug. 4 at which Williams is expected to either plead guilty or seek a trial date.

Williams is also a defendant in several other cases that are scheduled to be considered on Aug. 4.

“Besides a probation violation, we’ll have a forgery and a capias for failing to appear (in court),” Bell told Napier.

Marquess is scheduled to appear July 15 in Warren County General District Court on charges of conspiring to commit robbery and being an accessory to a robbery.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or