Man in pain in no mood to hand over money to robber
A Central Peoria man still feeling the pain after having two teeth pulled Tuesday afternoon was in no mood to be charitable, even at gunpoint.
So when a masked youth, armed with a handgun, tried to hold up the 62-year-old, the man instead ran over the robber’s bike.
“Probably the safest thing to do was to give him money, but it was not my day to donate,” the man, who asked not to be identified, said Wednesday. “I just decided I wasn’t going to give him anything.”
The robberies appear to be random, said police, adding the victims all have been older and alone when approached. No injuries have been reported.
“It’s just scary,” Peoria police spokeswoman Ann Ruggles said. “We have a kid running around with a gun and there could be an injury, whether intentionally or by accident, since there is a weapon involved.”
Police are looking for a young black male between the ages of 16 and 18, about 6 feet tall with a thin build. In two incidents, he wore a blue shirt and blue shorts, but in the third, he had on a white shirt. Each time he had his face covered with a bandanna.
The victim said he arrived home from the dentist about 2:30 p.m. and spied a youth riding a bike in his direction in the alley next to his garage.
“I didn’t think anything of it,” he said.
Preoccupied by the throbbing in his mouth as he backed his car into the garage, the man was shocked to see the same youth standing next to his car pointing a gun at him through the rolled down window.
Through the tan bandanna, which resembled a scarf, covering his mouth, the youth said, “Money,” to the victim, who was momentarily speechless.
“I just looked at him and looked at the barrel of the gun,” the victim said. “I thought it might have been plastic.”
But when the youth pulled back the gun’s slide, the man knew he was not the target of a prank.
“I decided that I was going to put my car in drive and get out of there,” the victim said.
The man sped out of the garage, crushing the youth’s blue Mongoose bike in his path.
From his rear view mirror, the victim said he watched the robber pick up his bike and try to ride it, only to realize it was too damaged. The youth ditched the bike and ran.
Despite almost being robbed — he had $300 in his pocket — the man said the incident didn’t rattle him too much. He’s lived in Central Peoria for 40 years.
“I was really kind of mad,” he said. “I was in pain. I just had two teeth pulled.”
Police collected the youth’s mangled bike, from which the victim hoped fingerprints could be lifted and an identity determined.
But the loss of his bike didn’t stop the youth from robbing another. About 8 p.m., he held up a 78-year-old man for $35.
Leslie Fark can be reached at (309) 686-3188 or email@example.com.