Robbery halted by wine and hugs
WASHINGTON ” Police on Capitol Hill are baffled by an attempted robbery that began with a handgun put to the head of a 14-year-old girl and ended in a group hug.
It started around midnight on June 16 when a group of friends was finishing dinner on the patio of a District of Columbia home, authorities and witnesses said. That’s when a hooded man slid through an open gate and pointed a handgun at the girl’s head.
“Give me your money, or I’ll start shooting,” he said, the witnesses told The Washington Post.
Everyone froze, they said, but then one guest spoke up.
“We were just finishing dinner,” Cristina Rowan, 43, told the man. “Why don’t you have a glass of wine with us?”
The intruder had a sip of their Chateau Malescot St-Exupery and said, “Damn, that’s good wine.”
The girl’s father, Michael Rabdau, 51, told him to take the whole glass, and Rowan offered him the bottle. The would-be robber, with his hood down, took another sip and a bite of Camembert cheese and put the gun in his sweatpants.
Then the story got even more bizarre.
The man with the gun apologized, the witnesses told the Post.
“I think I may have come to the wrong house,” he said. “Can I get a hug?”
Rowan stood up and wrapped her arms around the man and the four other guests followed.
The man walked away a few moments later with the crystal wine glass in hand. No one was hurt, but once he was gone, the group went inside, locked the door and called 911.
Police said Friday that the case was strange but true. Investigators have not located a suspect.
“We’ve had robbers that apologize and stuff, but nothing where they sit down and drink wine,” Cmdr. Diane Groomes said. “The only good thing is they would be able to identify him because they hugged them.”
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