Teen begged for armed robbers at ATM to spare his life

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Teen held up over his first paycheck
Officers say you should avoid walk-up ATMs in favor of drive-thru

CLEVELAND, TX -- A Texas mother is on a mission to catch the armed thieves who held up her 17-year-old son.

"I still think about it. I almost lost a son," said Bernadine Cusimano.

Police in Cleveland, Texas said Friday around 11:30pm, the teenager was at the walk-up ATM outside a Wells Fargo bank branch when a car full of suspects drove up behind him and boxed in the teenager's truck.

"Yes, they're watching," said Cleveland Police Chief Darrel Broussard, who told us Peter's case is unfortunately not the first of its kind. "This seems to be a growing trend."

Cusimano told us the suspects held a gun to her son's body, demanded his iPhone and cash, then threatened to kill him.

"He said, 'I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to shoot you,'" said the mother, in tears, as she recalled her son's story.

Fortunately, her son was able to beg for his life and get home in time to call police, with the help of his parents.

"Someone knows something. I'll find them," said Cusimano.

Cleveland Police said they are following leads in this case, as well as possible connections to another armed robbery from the weekend.

No matter where you live or bank, police urge you never to visit the ATM if it's dark, if you're alone or if you notice people or cars sitting idle nearby. Also, Chief Broussard said drive-through ATMs tend to be safer than walk-up ATMs.

There are a total of six suspects in this case. The two men who approached the 17-year-old victim had their faces covered with a ski mask, hat, bandana and sunglasses. They drove away in a maroon colored car with chrome rims.

If you have information about these suspects, call law enforcement.