Pub owner held at gunpoint by 4 masked men in Bucktown – NBC Chicago

A Chicago pub owner shares his story after he was robbed at gunpoint by four masked men in the city’s Bucktown neighborhood.

“I can’t imagine anyone going through what I went through, it was absolutely crazy,” said Eric Johnson, owner of Web Pub Bucktown.

Johnson told NBC 5 that his business had been robbed three times in the past 15 days, and over the weekend he was held at gunpoint right outside his establishment.

“I literally thought I was going to die then,” he said.

He said he still couldn’t believe what happened to him and his operations manager, Rachel, last Sunday morning.

“I can’t even explain how I feel,” he said. “Every time I talk about it I start crying and I’m trying not to cry right now.”

Surveillance video shared with NBC 5 shows Rachel standing outside the pub near Webster and Seeley Avenues around 12:30 p.m. Johnson is sitting out of sight behind the construction sign as a car pulls up. It was then that four masked men jumped in with guns.

“There are no words,” he said. “I thought it was wrong at first. I was like, it can’t happen to me, no way. There’s no way it’s happening in my neighborhood.

With guns pointed at their heads, Johnson said the armed robbers patted him and Rachel. Johnson said the whole ordeal took less than 20 seconds.

“It happened so fast, they said get up,” he said. “So I put my hands up, I said, Rachel, put your hands up, get it all out of my pocket.”

Johnson said the suspects got away with a cellphone and then fled.

“I had a packed bar on Saturday night,” he said. “If a person came out, one of those triggers could have gone off on either of our heads.”

Chicago police said it was one of nine armed robberies that occurred early Sunday morning within an hour on the north and northwest sides of the city. Below are the reported incidents:

  • 2000 Block of West Webster Avenue – 00:27
  • 1200 block of North Damen Avenue – 12:30 a.m.
  • 2700 block of North Milwaukee Avenue – 1am
  • 2200 block of West Webster Avenue – 1h03
  • 2600 Block of North Kedzie Avenue – 1:05 a.m.
  • 2900 Block of West Armitage Avenue – 1:08 a.m.
  • 3000 block of North Kimball Avenue – 1:15 hrs
  • 3200 Block of North Elston Avenue – 01:26
  • Block 3100 of North California Avenue – 1h30

“All I’m trying to do is get a little pub in Bucktown, and I can’t even do that without being completely raped,” he said.

Johnson bought the pub four years ago and said with rampant crime he didn’t know how long he could endure.

“It takes a community to make change,” he said. “We have to keep talking about it. We must continue to raise awareness of the situation. »

Johnson attended a community policing meeting where he voiced his concerns and received support from the alderman and police. Now he asks the neighbors to rally together and be extra vigilant.

Area Five detectives investigate the theft.

NBC Chicago

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