Cedar Rapids Weather
Armed Robbery Leaves Cedar Rapids 14-Year-Old Shaken
By Jeff Raasch and Dave Franzman, Reporters
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- A simple early morning trip to a bus stop turned into a frightening ordeal for one Cedar Rapids teenager early Monday morning.
Shortly after 6:00 a.m., the boy was at a bus stop at the intersection of Wilson Avenue and Bowling Street S.W. when he was approached by a man who came from a parking lot behind a nearby building. The 14-year-old victim, who his mother asked us not to identify, said he was listening to music and holding his laptop computer while waiting for a city bus that would take him to school. He saw the robber walking towards him and at first just thought it was another bus rider coming to wait.
“I saw him walk towards me and then he stood in front of me and then he tried to grab my computer. I said ‘no’ and then he said he’d shoot me and that’s when he pulled out the gun and he took my bag and started running,” the teen said.
The victim said the robber pointed the gun once at his head. He described the suspect as a black male around 5-foot8 with a medium build and short dreadlocks The suspect took off running south on Bowling Street. The teen said he was wearing a blue hooded sweat shirt and other dark-colored clothing but the victim never got a good look at his face.
When the gunman left, the teen ran in a different direction to his home to call police. His grandmother, Patricia Ross, was still in bed at home.
“He come in quiet and woke me up and told me ‘grandma this guy held a gun to my head’ and, of course, that brought me awake,” Ross said.
The 14-year-old said he’d never had problems before riding a city bus to get to school even when it involved waiting in the dark. He said his family lives too close to his high school to get free transportation from the school district. He was shaken up, though unhurt, and stayed home from school Monday. He said he’s not sure about how to get to school Tuesday morning.
“I’ll try to see if my mom or somebody can give me a ride to school. If not, I’ll have to ride the city bus. But then I’ll go there five or ten minutes before,” the victim said.
The victim said the laptop computer is worth about $500. He said the robber also got his backpack which just contained school work.
Sgt. Cristy Hamblin, a Cedar Rapids Police spokesperson, said authorities don’t really keep statistics on the age of armed robbery victims. But she concluded it’s a rare occurrence when a 14-year-old is robbed at gunpoint. Police don’t believe there were any witnesses to the robbery and don’t have a suspect in the case.
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