PINE BLUFF, Ark. – Early morning on Sunday, June 26th on West Martin Place Ave. in Pine Bluff, City Councilwoman Joni Alexander found herself with 3 assault rifles pointed at her.
Alexander’s home security camera captured the incident.
When she noticed the robbers, she screamed and one of the robbers told her to “shut up.”
One of the 3 burglars snatched her purse and all 3 ran away. As they ran away, shots were fired in the air.
“Does it take all of that to rob a woman of her purse,” said Alexander.
In her purse were 2 cell phones, credit cards, cash, and a handgun, amounting to over $4,000 in stolen belongings.
The Councilwoman was able to ping her phone to two separate homes on Chesnut Street, which is a short walk away from her home. After investigating, according to the police report, everything except the handgun had been burned or destroyed.
She says, “they got absolutely nothing out of it, other than just terrorizing the neighborhood.”
30-year-old Rodney Whitmore has been arrested and charged with aggravated robbery and theft of property in this case. But 2-out-of-3 suspects are still out there, which leaves Alexander feeling “a bit uneasy” because the suspects know where she lives.
At one of those homes on Chesnut Street that pinged Councilwoman Alexander’s phone, two juveniles were taken into custody and questioned with their parents present and then released.
She says with incidents like this happening to so many people, as a city leader “she would not be doing her position justice if she didn’t share” her experience.
When it comes to the root of the problem of violence, she says it starts with the lack of education, poverty rate and broken households.
“All those things mixed together with a certain type of bad character creates moments like what I experienced.”
In January, Councilwoman Alexander announced she would not seek re-election. She says this incident confirmed that she made the right decision.
Now I don’t even feel comfortable allowing people to come here and share this space with me because I could be putting their life at risk.”
if you have any information on this incident, please call the pine bluff police department.