Tick Tock Diner, the 24-hour New Jersey landmark, is mostly known for serving comfort food beneath a giant sign imploring customers to "EAT HEAVY." But not today. New Jersey police have arrested the 45-year-old manager of Tick Tock's Clifton location for allegedly hiring a pair of undercover cops to torture and murder his uncle, the manager of Tick Tock's Penn Station branch in Manhattan. New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa trumpeted the insane-sounding sting during a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, during which Chiesa described manager Georgios Spyropoulos's "ruthless plot" to steal $3,000 from his Penn Station counterpart, Alexandros Sgourdos, before killing him and dumping his body where nobody would find it. "The State Police were able to completely ensnare him in his own diabolical trap," Chiasa said.
The details of Spyropoulos's alleged murder plot are so far scarce, but those divulged today portray a complicated plan to rob and kill Sgourdos, the Manhattan manager and Spyropoulos's uncle, and later make it look like Sgourdos disappeared. But, as the Attorney General observes, Spyropoulos wanted to keep his hands clean:
State Police detectives learned through a confidential source that Spyropoulos was looking for someone to murder Sgourdos for him. They were then able to introduce an undercover trooper to play the part of a would-be assassin. On Tuesday, April 2nd, Spyropoulos provided the “hired killer” with an unregistered handgun, a photo of the intended target, his address, and a down payment of $3,000.
Police handcuffed Spyropoulos yesterday, and there are no other suspects under investigation. Still, questions cloud the future of Tick Tock Diner. Why, for one, did one of their managers dispatch a contract killer to collect a measly $3,000 from a business associate? After Spyropoulos was arrested, police recovered his Mercedez Benz, six cell phones, several firearms and "several thousand dollars in cash," so he clearly wasn't scrounging for money.
We'll find out soon enough. Spyropoulos is scheduled to appear in court on Friday. Nobody give Artie any ideas, or he'll really get angry:
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.