MPD and Victim's Parents Disagree on Possible Robbery

One Meridian family is shaken this week after they say their son was robbed Thursday night at the Bonita Walmart. The family has asked that we not use their names or show their faces, but this mother recounts how her 19-year-old son was taken by surprise when while he was getting into his vehicle, an unknown man got into the passenger side and demanded his money.

"He never saw a weapon, but he was afraid that the man had a weapon," the victim's mother explains. "He proceeded to go, he didn't tell them where they were going to go. He just told him which turn to take, go here, go there, and he ended up going to three different ATM machines and getting out different amounts of cash at each one."

She describes the man as a black male in his late twenties wearing coveralls with a slightly droopy eye, and says he made off with $280 of her son's money. However, Meridian Police say from his statement, it currently appears that the victim was scammed out of his money, that the man was not a threat and the victim voluntarily drove him to these ATMs. But the victim's parents assure me that their son did feel threatened for his safety.

"If my son didn't do what he said, and he did have a weapon, it could have turned out very differently," his mother says. "My son said he was praying the whole time, and I just want people to be aware."

The victim's mother says she wants to share her son's story To remind the public to be extra cautious in parking lots or other potentially dangerous areas.

"We're just very grateful that money can be replaced, but my son's life couldn't be," she says.

Meridian Police say this case is still under investigation. They are continuing to review surveillance video and witness statements, but say from the statements they've received from the victim, investigators are not currently classifying this case as a robbery.