UPDATE: Victim robbed outside of Five Guys restaurant speaks out
A couple sitting outside of Five Guys restaurant in downtown Chattanooga told police they were robbed at gunpoint late Sunday night.
UPDATE: A couple sitting outside Five Guys restaurant downtown over the weekend told police they were robbed at gunpoint.
It happened around midnight on Sunday, and police say the robber was caught within minutes of the crime.
"He just walked up to us and pulled a gun out and asked if we had anything," Nicholas Trippy said.
Nicholas Trippy tells Channel 3 that he saw the gunman, now identified as 29-year-old Raymond Hunter, walking by the Five Guys restaurant right before the robbery.
He had a bad feeling but didn't think anything bad would happen because they were next to a busy intersection with lots of potential eyewitnesses. As it turns out, that didn't matter.
"People were walking by as he was holding the gun at us, but it was hidden," Trippy said.
Trippy says the gunman kept his voice low but demanded money and made it clear he would shoot if they didn't cooperate.
He then made Trippy's girlfriend empty her bag before taking off with both of their cell phones.
Without thinking, Trippy gave chase.
"He said to back up or I'll shoot you multiple times," Trippy said. " More vulgar than that, but yes that's basically what he said."
Hunter eventually gave back the cell phones, and he ran into police a few minutes later. Officers were already in the area looking at the suspect's car, which was parked suspiciously.
"If you think something is suspicious, let us know," Chattanooga Police Capt. Scott Fulgham said. "It may be nothing or we may come out and see something that's illegal."
Chattanooga Police held Hunter at gunpoint in a parking lot where he dropped his stolen pistol into a lower lot. Hunter, a validated gang member and convicted felon, was taken into custody without incident.
Police want everyone to be alert of their surroundings this holiday season no matter where you are or how safe you feel. They say a crime can happen anywhere there is an opportunity.
"It's sad to a certain point that you have to watch your surroundings, but it's a fact of life in this time, in our world and even in Chattanooga," Capt. Fulgham said.
Police say Raymond Hunter was already on probation for a prior robbery charge. He's being held in the Hamilton County Jail on a more than $170,000 bond.
A couple sitting outside of Five Guys restaurant in downtown Chattanooga told police they were robbed at gunpoint by an unknown black male around 11:54 pm Sunday.
The gunman, now identified as 29-year-old Raymond D. Hunter, was taken into custody within five minutes of the crime.
Police say Hunter approached the couple sitting outside of the restaurant and held them at gunpoint with a stolen gun out of Georgia.
The victim told police the gunman then searched her boyfriend's pockets and wallet, but there was no money inside. She said he then made her empty her bag and took off with two both of their cell phones.
Officials say the victim's boyfriend chased the suspect in a foot pursuit and was able to retrieve the two stolen phones.
According to the report, an officer was already in the area investigating a suspicious vehicle when the call came in. That suspicious vehicle was registered to the suspect, Raymond Hunter.
Police quickly located Hunter matching the suspect's description, in a parking garage about two blocks away. Investigators say while Hunter was held at gunpoint, he reportedly sidestepped to a gated parking lot and dropped his pistol into the lower parking lot level of the parking garage.
Police were able to get him into custody without incident. They determined that Hunter was a convicted felon for robbery and is still on active probation. Hunter is now charged with Aggravated Robbery and theft of property among other charges. He is being held in the Hamilton County Jail on a more than $170,000 dollars bond.