Robber high on wine and hugs


Summary

A group of friends was finishing dinner on the back patio of a Washington, DC, home when a hooded man slid through an open gate and pointed a handgun at the head of a 14-year-old girl.

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"Give me your money, or I'll start shooting," the intruder said, district police and witnesses say.

Everyone froze, including the girl's parents.

Then one guest spoke up.

"We were just finishing dinner," Cristina "Cha Cha" Rowan, 43, told the man.

Sharing wine

"Why don't you have a glass of wine with us?"

The intruder had a sip of their Chateau Malescot St-Exupery and said: "Damn, that's good wine."

The girl's father, Michael Rabdau, 51, a federal government worker, told the intruder to take the whole glass, and Ms Rowan offered him the bottle.

The robber, with his hood down, took another sip and a bite of Camembert cheese.

He put the gun in his sweatpants.

Then the story took an even more bizarre twist.

"I think I may have come to the wrong house," the intruder said before apologising.

Hug, please

"Can I get a hug?"

Ms Rowan, who works at her children's school and lives in Falls Church, Virginia, stood up and wrapped her arms around the would-be robber.

The other guests followed.

"Can we have a group hug?" the man asked.

The five adults complied.

The man walked away a few moments later with a filled crystal wine glass, but nothing was stolen, and no one was hurt.

Police were called to the scene and found the empty wine glass unbroken on the ground in an alley behind the house.

‘Strange but true’

Police classified the June 16 incident, which lasted all of 10 minutes, as strange but true.

The witnesses thought the intruder might have been high on drugs.

"We've had robbers that apologise and stuff, but nothing where they sit down and drink wine. It definitely is strange," said Commander Diane Groomes, adding the hugs were especially unusual.


A group of friends was finishing dinner on the back patio of a Washington, DC, home when a hooded man slid through an open gate and pointed a handgun at the head of a 14-year-old girl.

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"Give me your money, or I'll start shooting," the intruder said, district police and witnesses say.

Everyone froze, including the girl's parents.

Then one guest spoke up.

"We were just finishing dinner," Cristina "Cha Cha" Rowan, 43, told the man.

Sharing wine

"Why don't you have a glass of wine with us?"

The intruder had a sip of their Chateau Malescot St-Exupery and said: "Damn, that's good wine."

The girl's father, Michael Rabdau, 51, a federal government worker, told the intruder to take the whole glass, and Ms Rowan offered him the bottle.

The robber, with his hood down, took another sip and a bite of Camembert cheese.

He put the gun in his sweatpants.

Then the story took an even more bizarre twist.

"I think I may have come to the wrong house," the intruder said before apologising.

Hug, please

"Can I get a hug?"

Ms Rowan, who works at her children's school and lives in Falls Church, Virginia, stood up and wrapped her arms around the would-be robber.

The other guests followed.

"Can we have a group hug?" the man asked.

The five adults complied.

The man walked away a few moments later with a filled crystal wine glass, but nothing was stolen, and no one was hurt.

Police were called to the scene and found the empty wine glass unbroken on the ground in an alley behind the house.

‘Strange but true’

Police classified the June 16 incident, which lasted all of 10 minutes, as strange but true.

The witnesses thought the intruder might have been high on drugs.

"We've had robbers that apologise and stuff, but nothing where they sit down and drink wine. It definitely is strange," said Commander Diane Groomes, adding the hugs were especially unusual.