RAYTOWN, Mo -- Aaliyah Smith, 17, had no idea the nice man she was serving at Subway would turn out to be her worst nightmare.
Sunday evening, when she and her coworker went to the back of the store to prep and do dishes, the man followed them to the back -- with a knife.
“He pushes my coworker to the ground and pushes his head back and puts a knife on him,” Smith said. "And then he pointed the knife at me and told me to go lay down next to him."
The man wanted money and made Smith help him get it.
"Then he pointed the knife at me, and he said, 'You and me are going to go up front,'' Smith said of the terrifying encounter. "So I stand up, and he tells me not to do anything dumb or there would be some consequences or not to trigger an alarm."
While the robber was taking money from the cash register, Smith said a woman and her children walked in. Smith tried to warn them of the danger.
"So he runs to the back room, and as I start to look at her, he tells me to hurry up and go to the back before he has to come up there. He makes me lay with my coworker again,” Smith said. “Tells us to lay there for 10 minutes and not to get up or else there would be consequences."
Smith and her coworker feared the man had gone after the woman and her kids.
“And we finally hear the door open, and we peer out there, and it's the lady and her kids, so he's gone."
Three days after her terrifying experience, Smith went back to work, realizing the robber took something much more valuable than money.
“I would actually just really want him to apologize and let him know this place has always felt safe to me and everyone else, and now everyone is on edge and everyone is paranoid, and it doesn't really feel the same," Smith said.
Smith said he was a black man, about 5-foot-10 and in his late 40s or early 50s. He was wearing jeans, a bulky black coat and black hat.
If you can help police catch the robber, please call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.