Robbery victim describes ordeal with GRTC bus suspects
RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - The victim of an armed robbery near a GRTC bus stop Friday said he was about to put his ear buds in while waiting for the bus at Willow Lawn when he heard three guys shouting hateful slurs in his direction.
He said what happened next made him never want to take the bus again.
He asked CBS 6 to hide his identity but said he never thought he’d be a target of violence or hate. “They said I’m a disgrace to black people because I’m gay,” he said. “I should go to hell. I should die. They kept calling me ——, all types of gay slurs.”
The victim said the attack appeared totally random and said he had never seen any of the suspects before.
Police said there was a verbal exchange between suspects and the victim that escalated into an armed robbery. “He said ‘I should rob your —, give me all that —-, you heard me, I want it all’ and then he asked his friend for the clip,” the victim said.
Afraid the gun would actually be used, the victim gave up his iPhone 4. Then the suspects got on the bus.
Within minutes, Henrico Police surrounded the GRTC bus near the intersection of Broad Street and Staples Mill Road near the Henrico-Richmond line Friday afternoon.
Nearby a rather uneventful lunch at a Broad Street Wendy’s got a little spicier when diner Warren Schnabel noticed atheheavy police presence outside on the street.
“Yeah, we thought it might be a hostage taking situation… you never know,” Schnabel said.
“I have seen people use a bus as a getaway vehicle before,” said Henrico Police Lt. Doug Perry. “I would say it’s not the smartest way to get away from a robbery scene.”
The vehicle hadn’t even gone two blocks, when police intercepted GRTC bus #909. “Henrico and the city police were excellent,” said the victim. “They were there in two minutes.”
Police arrested 22-year-old Quinton Booker and a 15-year-old accomplice. Both are charged with armed robbery.
The crime occurred right outside Willow Lawn, which at this time of year, always has an extra patrol.“Our chief has put an emphasis on holiday patrols so we have officers out here to ensure the citizens are safe,” said Perry.
The victim said police did find his iPhone on the bus but said the case was smashed up. But he said he feels blessed that the situation wasn’t worse because when he saw the gun clip, he feared his life could be over.
Schnabel said he heard sirens and watched the police car cut in front of the bus to stop it. He said saw two more police cars race to the scene and that there was a flurry of activity.
“The policemen jumped out, they all got behind their vehicles and had their guns drawn,” witness Warren Schnabel said. “Then they started pulling out the individuals that were on the bus, one by one.”