MARIETTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — Marietta resident Arlyn, and her mother-in-law, Yvonne, wanted to go by their first names only, when sharing how Arlyn was robbed at gunpoint in the Walmart parking lot at 210 Cobb Parkway.
“It was very scary. I don’t know how I did it, how I escaped away from that guy,” said Arlyn.
It happened Sunday afternoon, after she finished shopping and returned to her car. She was approached by the suspect, who authorities said had a loaded gun. “He just said, ‘Don’t scream or run. If you run or scream, I’m gonna kill you. I will shoot you,” she said.
She says the suspect then told her to get in the driver’s side of the car, but she convinced him she needed to first go to the passenger’s side to get her purse.
“When I go in the front of the car, that’s when I run away from him,” Arlyn said, describing how she fell down as she was running away and thought she had been shot. When she realized that wasn’t the case, she got up and ran as fast as she could while screaming. Bystanders called 911. Arlyn later described how she believes divine intervention may have played a role in her fall and how she felt someone push her down to avoid a potential gun shot.
Arlyn (right) with her mother-in-law, Yvonne, discussing the armed robbery attempt. pic.twitter.com/VdzPnjHnS8
— Valencia E. Jones (@vjreports3) September 23, 2020
“When I got there, she was absolutely hysterical, and I went and held her real tight,” said Yvonne.
They say Marietta police officers arrived in less than two minutes and set up a perimeter around the area. Within a short time, they caught and arrested Jermond Banks, 35. He was hiding behind a shed.
“Video quickly got the suspect running behind businesses, saw where he had dropped a book bag as well as items of clothing to change his appearance,” said Marietta Police Public Information Officer Chuck McPhilamy.
Officers charged Banks with Armed Robbery and Marijuana Possession. He also had other charges pending with another agency.
Police say the community and their canine helped locate Banks, the gun, and Arlyn’s purse, with everything in it. They say Arlyn did exactly what she was supposed to do during the armed robbery attempt.
“Have a plan of action. We never know what could happen when we’re walking to our car,” McPhilamy said, explaining you should be aware of your surroundings and avoid distractions, like looking down at your cell phone.
Arlyn shared her message for those who may encounter situations like this as well. “Just try to escape from him and run. Don’t ever get inside a car,” she said.
“I’m amazed that she had the wherewithal to get away from him the way she did,” said Yvonne.
They’re thankful for the quick actions of police, and very thankful Arlyn survived to share her story and make it back home to her family.