Fearless 13-year-old describes Southside robbery at gunpoint

Posted at 11:49 PM, Jul 21, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-22 00:19:17-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- "No, I wasn't scared."

That’s a mature answer from a 13-year-old girl, who was helping her mom and dad in their family-owned business.

She says simply, “I gave him the money and let him run  away.”

Her boldness echoes perhaps louder than the trains that roar across  Broad Rock Boulevard.

"Not that scary,” are three words you might not expect from a girl who is just barely a teenager.

Her parents want CBS-6 to hide her identity, but she did tell us about some intense moments Sunday night when an armed man walked into the family’s restaurant on the city's Southside.

armed man

"He was outside for a while, then asked the cook for money with his gun,” she said.  “The cook can't open the register. Only I can. So I let him take the drawer and he left."

With just over a hundred bucks in the drawer the little girl says she's been told,  money isn't worth your life.

That’s a lesson that nearby neighbor Andre Lawson is glad the teenager learned at such a young age.  "I know this is hard times, man, but go to a temp service and get a job,” Lawson said.  “Robbing a 13-year-old is pretty low on the totem pole."

The New China Garden Restaurant is right next to the Poly Cleaners and James Food Store.

That area has seen violent crime in the past: many here say they remember June 2, 2005 like it was yesterday.

Convicted killer Daniel Bowler took the lives of two men.

Lawson says nearly a decade later, this community still gets a bad rap.  "Very seldom do things happen here, man," he said.

The surveillance video isn't the best quality but police are hoping someone out there will recognize the man.  The teenage girl told me, she thinks he lives near the restaurant because she's seen him before.