Teen Robbed Nightclub at Knifepoint: Cops

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014  |  Updated 1:10 PM EDT
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Teen Robbed Nightclub at Knifepoint: Cops

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New Haven Police have taken a 17-year-old high school student suspected in an armed robbery at the Van Dome Nightclub into custody.

Police responded to the club at 102 Hamilton Street just after 6 p.m. on Feb. 2 after the club owner reported that he’d been assaulted and robbed at gunpoint.

Police said thousands of dollars were reported stolen and the club owner had a broken nose, facial bruises and lacerations.

The victim said he went to answer the club’s back doorbell and saw someone he thought was a bar-back wearing a black facemask.

The teen shoved the door open, pushed his way inside, brandished a pistol and demanded money, according to police.

The club owner said he knocked the gun from the robber’s hand and the two fought.

The teen struck the owner with a bar stool, pulled out his pocket knife and forced the owner to give him money from the safe, police said.

The robber then used a spray bottle of cleaning fluid to clean up some blood from the floor and took a component of the club’s surveillance system before fleeing, police said.

The club owner sought medical treatment before being speaking with police, told authorities he knew who the robber was and handed over his employee file, police said.

Police collected evidence collected, including the face mask the robber left at the scene and video surveillance of the robbery that was captured by many other cameras connected to the club’s system.

Police said the 17-year-old suspect lives in New Haven and relatives put him out as a missing person when detectives went to look for him.

The teen turned himself over at police headquarters on Monday.

He was arrested and charged with first-degree robbery, second degree assault and first degree criminal mischief. Gun charges are pending.

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