DETROIT – For the second time in three months, a prominent Detroiter was robbed at gunpoint in the city that he serves. This time it was Michigan State Rep. Jimmy Womack, who was robbed outside of a convenience store in the neighborhood that he serves on the city’s west side.
On Sunday evening around 8 p.m., Womack, D-Detroit, went into a liquor store on 6 Mile Road between Second and Hamilton near the Detroit/Highland Park border to buy a bottle of champagne. When Womack returned to his car, he was approached by three men holding guns — one of whom Womack knew from the neighborhood — who immediately demanded his keys. Womack said he refused, so the men told him to start the car.
“I said, ‘I’m not starting the car, and I’m not giving you the car,’ ” Womack told the Detroit News, acknowledging that his reaction was not smart. “Your life is worth more than anything material. That was stupid. I know that.”
The gunmen decided not to steal the car, instead taking nearly $300 from Womack’s shirt pocket, which he said the men likely saw when he was in the store. This marks the second time in three months that a prominent Detroit resident was robbed in the city.
On May 16, gospel singer and pastor Marvin Winans was carjacked at a CITGO station on Linwood & Davison in broad daylight. Winans was putting gas in his purple 2012 Infiniti QX56 SUV when he was attacked by four men, who took the car along with $200, his wallet, and his $15,000 diamond Rolex.
The assailants — Montoya Givens and Christopher Moorehead, both 20, and Brian K. Young, 18 — were ordered to stand trial on June 12. They were charged with carjacking, unarmed robbery and conspiracy. They could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted.
At least four people witnessed Womack’s robbery and the store had surveillance cameras outside, but he told the News that they were not recording at the time. He called the brazen public robberies a “social problem” in Detroit.
“These people are so brazen they know they can get away with it,” said Womack, who picked the man he recognized from his neighborhood out of a police lineup. ”It is very, very disheartening when people who live in a neighborhood, they see you, you see them, but they have no problem robbing you.”