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Two Red Hook bartenders were honored this week for helping police nab an armed man suspecting of robbing two neighborhood taverns.

The 76th Precinct presented Chris Piscatelli and Erin Norris, bartender and manager at the Bait and Tackle bar, with “citizen recognition” awards to commend them for their bravery in the Oct. 15 arrest of the suspect, 26-year-old Luis Rodriguez.

Rodriguez is accused of robbing the Van Brunt Street watering hole on Sept. 23 as well as nearby Moonshine a week later. He was arrested after returning to the Bait and Tackle — where he was recognized by Norris and Piscatelli.

The savvy barkeeps quickly recalled the tattoo of a teardrop below the customer’s left eye from “Wanted” posters and called the police.

Piscatelli coolly served the wanted man shots of tequila as he waited for the cops to arrive.

But Rodriguez ran from the bar after realizing that he’d been made. Bar regulars, led by Norris, locked him outside, and officers Florence Delince, Ronald Holmes and Joseph Gil were able to make the collar.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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