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YOUNGSTOWN Muggers threaten walkers



Published: Thu, August 22, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Men, including Councilman Richard Atkinson, ran to help the victims.

YOUNGSTOWN -- Councilman Richard Atkinson, R-3rd, was on hand early this morning when two men tried to mug walkers at Wick Park on the North Side.

One victim, a 62-year-old Oak Street man, told Patrolman Dave Copanic that he was walking on Elm Street near Broadway around 6 a.m. when a 1989 white Buick LeSabre "pulled up really fast" beside him. The passenger jumped out with a gun and ordered, "Drop down."

The victim told the mugger he was wasting his time, adding, "I don't have any money."

The driver of the white Buick tried to hurry his accomplice by yelling, "C'mon, c'mon."

The gunman got back into the car, and the victim began running through the park warning people.

Father Edward P. Noga, 52, pastor at St. Patrick Church, was walking in the park with a companion when the robbers approached and ordered them to the ground.

The priest told muggers he had no money on him. But he was aware that others in the park had been robbed, he told police.

At one point, victims on the ground heard men running toward them shouting. Atkinson, who lives nearby on Redondo Avenue, was one of the men, reports show.

The muggers shouted back, "We have guns. Which one should we shoot first?"

The muggers then fled to Elm and Broadway where they tried to rob a Sunshine Avenue couple in their 60s.

The woman was pushed down or fell when she began to run. Her husband ran through the park, and the muggers fled south on Elm Street.

The suspects were described as black men in their 30s. The gunman had on a red jogging suit.




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