Richard Passantino talks about being robbed at gunpoint
SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. -- Two 14 year old boys who ran from a school for troubled youths are in jail after police say they robbed a Sandy Springs man at gunpoint in his driveway.
Police said three boys fled the Warm Springs Outdoor Therapy Program in Warm Springs, Ga. and then stole a car in Pine Mountain. Two of the boys were arrested a short time after the armed robbery in Sandy Springs.
Sandy Springs Police Captain Steve Rose said police are concerned this might not be the first crime for the teens since they fled the Warm Springs school. "We're going to check with other agencies nearby and see if there's anything similar, if any other similar robberies have occurred," he said.
Richard Passantino was getting the mail from his mailbox in front of his Weatherly Drive home when he was approached by one of the teens, according to police.
"He came at me and he said I want money," Passantino told 11Alive News. "And I said this is an area where you can't do any solicitation."
The next thing Passantino knew, the suspect pulled a gun on him. "And then he pulls out this gun and he says I need money now!" he said.
Passantino's said his wife was home and he stopped the suspect from following him in to the house to get money. "I said you're not going in that house with my wife or with me," he said. "He had a gun but I wasn't sure it was a real gun."
The 14 year old told Passantino he needed the money for gas for the car he and two others youths were driving. It turned out the car was stolen from Pine Mountain. After receiving $20, the boys fled and stopped for gas at the closest gas station. Passantino immediately called police and told them he was robbed for gas money.
Within minutes, a patrol officer spotted the stolen vehicle filling up with gas. Two of the teenagers were arrested and a third fled on foot.
Passantino identified the suspects who were arrested at the Sandy Springs Police Department. Before he left he asked police a question that was bothering him, was the gun real? "He (police officer) said yes, it was fully loaded and it had real bullets in it," he said he was told. "Maybe I should have given him $100 and gotten rid of him faster," he said with a nervous laugh.
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