Violent robberies in downtown Memphis have people taking action

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A group of mothers is demanding more security around Beale Street and in downtown Memphis after their sons were brutally attacked and robbed.

"They want to beat these kids up and then the money is almost secondary," said Wight Boggs.

She and Carol Furr said their sons were walking to their car behind the FedEx Forum earlier this month when two men demanded their money.

"They chased my son for almost three blocks to catch him and then they violently beat him up," said Furr.

Furr's son was hit in the head. He spent two weeks in the hospital, and his skull was cut open to relieve the pressure and swelling.

The same night, another young man was robbed at a downtown ATM by the same guys.

He told police they opened his mouth, laid him on the curb and then stomped on the back of his head.

"His jaws were wired shut, and he is at home recovering," said Furr.

People said it's dangerous behind the Forum, because police put all of their attention on the other side of Beale.

Toneka Sullivan said she was mugged walking to her car.

"He tried to take my purse, but luckily, my boyfriend was there to help me," she said.

Wight sent a letter to Director Toney Armstrong, Mayor A C Wharton and District Attorney General Amy Wierich asking them to "take charge of this problem and address it head on."

WREG tried to get answers from the city and police, but no one responded to our interview request.

"No one has given me indication or update on something being done," said Boggs.

Boggs and Fur want a heavier police presence throughout the night. They're also asking bars to join their fight by not being cash-only.

They're trying anything to save the next victim, and they've contributed to the CrimeStoppers reward. It's now more than $5,000 if you can help catch the robbers.

If you have any information, call CrimeStoppers at 901-528-CASH.

You can also contribute to the reward by asking for the "Three Families" account.


  • Andy

    Ok. If Austin took 100 officers in two days my numbers tell me Wharton ,little and those 7 council members just gave Austin 7.5 million of our tax dollars. According to their union president 75k is the cost to train an mpd officer multiplied by 100 equals 7.5 million. The police director has stated this fact when he told the media that he begged Dallas tx to stop taking his officers and mentioned both the training costs and no money to hire and train with.

    • Derby


    • donaknowsitall

      Dallad didn’t TAKE the police officers, the police officers (gladly) went. These guys, provided they are the good police officers, will be getting better salary and pensions so who is to blame for that?
      We are, of course. Since Memphis is on the loosing end, Memphis needs to step up and do what other cities are doing or have already done. Just remember though, Lots of other police departments don’t put up with crooked cops and Dallas is one of those places.
      Dallas is a great city!

  • Phil

    “When emergency assistance is needed, Police are only minutes away.” Be YOUR OWN security. Dispense instant justice when needed. You’ll be saving yourself, your family, and others, and…you’ll be doing a great service to the community if you remember to use Hollow Point ammo. Happy Hunting.

  • Downtown is the Safest part of the city

    But Downtown is the SAFEST part of the city as we have been told time and time again. You cant be your own security because FedEx Forum is a gun free zone. You have to be nutso to be on your feet anywhere after dark in the Memphis city limits. People seem to be shocked when these things happen. And no it doesn’t happen everywhere because Memphis is rated in the top 5 of every crime category in every report released. If you want to fight back just get a tree limb and head to Audubon Park. And if you have any money Obama is asking for 44,000 pair of extra large underwear for the CHILDREN (Los niƱos ilegales) crossing the river. Re-elect everyone is my motto and get this disaster over with.

  • gypsy lee

    memphis has gone to the dogs thanks to wharton,little ,and council members. they do not care about your safety or they would be trying to hold onto our police officers. they care only about themselves because they can afford
    private body guards. sure hope they aren’t caught without their bodyguards and need the police or fireman. just

  • Sally Smith

    Thanks to WREG for running this story and not IGNORING OR DENYING the problem, as is too frequently the case. Best wishes to all who have been affected by the crime problem here.

  • Theodicious

    City Hall and citizens have all given a big fat middle finger to police and fire. Good luck.

  • Crime in the Village

    This has nothing to do with police, pensions, or health benefits. You could have a million cops and they can do NOTHING until AFTER the crime has been committed. And it is not just in back of the Forum, it is on all sides of the Forum, up and down Beale St., and if you leave those areas you are truly in the VILLAGE. These problems are caused by one segment of the population and is identifiable by skin color. I feel for the working, taxpaying, decent blacks in this community having to deal with this insanity. I also feel for the American born and legal immigrant Hispanics who are in the same boat when it comes to illegals. However, when anyone tries to do anything about it the screams of RACISM ring out from all corners of the community. Unless and until the voting patterns of these communities change the problems will never be solved.

    • SoSad

      Not true. You can have a pro-active police department. You just have to have management that will stand up for what is right. I did it for many years, clearing the rif-raf from the corners and proactively looking for the dopers and thugs. I’ve had citizens approach me after working a ward for a couple of months and thank me for cleaning up their neighborhood. No better feeling in the world than having citizens recognize your efforts to help them and actually change from not seeing anything to assisting whenever they see you. Now there’s no incentive for cops to be proactive, especially with the administration taking a dump on them and the lack of a management staff. Problem comes in when management buckles to the complaints from the dopers that they’re being picked on. I actually had an inspector that told me to leave his “boys” alone in the dope track. Memphis has been going down hill quickly since the “social groups” started moving in and the administration decided to deny that gangs were in Memphis. I hope y’all can dig your way out, but I don’t see it anytime soon.

    • Don

      and if you leave those areas you are truly in the VILLAGE. These problems are caused by one segment of the population and is identifiable by skin color.
      I would think this would think this covers AC Wharton, Toney Armstrong, Little and the rest of the leadership of the Third World city named Memphis.
      Armstrong seems to be upset about what the Dallas and Austin hiring police from the Memphis officers,
      They have had cuts in their salaries in the past and stayed on until the city named the Third World city of Memphis, where they were screwed again recently.
      Good look to the officers who are leaving, You will not regret you left this Hell Hole.

  • Christine

    When it comes to all of this crime in Memphis, the problem is the Judicial system. When a person is arrested, The District Attorney’s office decides what the charges will be. Since most of these crimes are committed in Memphis and because most of the victims are black, the District Attorney’s Office will do a plea deal. So the criminals knows this. They know that they will not serve a lot of time. It is very hard to seat a jury for a trial. I had jury duty once and every one of us has been a victim of a crime. When it comes to crime, criminals do not care what color you are.

  • Tom Brundige

    I’m glad to see that these crimes are finally getting some attention from the media. The attacks were very brutal and senseless. Two of the young men were critically injured. Maybe a big reward from Crime Stoppers will lead to a tip that will get these criminals off the streets before they kill someone.

  • MFDer gone

    This city will fall because of these business minded politicians. A city isn’t a business for profit and that is what is happen. The city business is protect and serve, not to have the mayor and council profit from it. That is why I am quitting the fire department and heading North. Bye.

    • whitedemonsandblkfools

      Impulse you are one dumb whitey advocating genocide on a public forum spoken like a true coward. Eradication you say? Them what negro would your mum blow every night?

  • Jason

    I worked on Beale, until recently, and there is a shooting or stabbing nearly every weekend, and sometimes multiple in the same night. They don’t put that on the news because its bad for tourism. If people really knew what went on down there, the only people going would be the ones that are looking to rob, shoot, stab or kill somebody.

  • Bill

    I think I should point out that Wight Boggs is the widow of the late Thomas Boggs, and is an owner of Huey’s. Huey’s remains a member of the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce. She therefore supports an organization that is instrumental in stabbing the police in the back, and yet wants more police presence. It seems hypocritical to me. If she wants the police to support her, she should support them by terminating Huey’s membership in the Chamber and making a very public statement as to the reason.

    Other comments say it well. The area is a gun-free zone. When seconds count, the police are just minutes away. Walking in the area behind the FedEx Forum is unwise no matter the time of day. Some things are almost predictable.

    • Former Memphian

      Bill… need to realize that most of us that work have had medical & pension cuts throughout our working careers. Employees have gone thru bankruptcy, no pay raises & are paying more for less health coverage. If we don’t like these changes, then we can search for another job….good luck with that! For you to say another human being doesn’t deserve protection b/c their business belongs to the Chamber of Commerce, is like me saying your family deserves to be attacked b/c you didn’t give a citizen protection when you were called to the scene of a crime. Can you see how ridiculous this sounds? Put on your big boy briefs & deal with what the rest of us deal with & do your job or resign. Doesn’t Huey’s offer the MPD & MFD 50% off all meals? Kinda generous if you ask me. Jus sayin!

  • Christine

    All of these crimes show that the way our society treats criminals are not working. I do not think that when a child is born I do not think that child wants to grow up and be a criminal. We do not hold people responsible for their actions. When children are neglected the first thing the state does is put the children in foster care. We need to do what some other countries are doing. If a mother is incarcerated her children will be with her. The jails are set up to be dormitory style. We need to stop making it easy for people to not own up to their responsibilities.

  • Mary

    I personally know the two men who were attacked. This disgusting act of violence fills me with rage. I am currently in college in the state of Mississippi. I always love coming home to Memphis and enjoying the city I was born and raised in. I used to think I would eventually come back and raise a family. Now more than ever I think of Memphis as a city of crime, lies, dirty money, selfishness, and hatred. I know that the two men who were brutally attacked come from very generous families who have given way too much to the city of Memphis. And for what? To have their two sons be thrown to the streets and left to suffer? And I am not implying that people who do not financially and voluntarily give back to Memphis deserve the treatment these two men received, NO HUMAN DOES. What’s sad is that this isn’t something new. This type of violence has been happening in Memphis since I can remember. My family personally moved from East Memphis to Collierville because our neighborhood was having multiple day break-ins. Keep these families in your prayers and please donate to crimestoppers. Let’s try as a community to keep hope and love in Memphis alive. Stop this hatred and violence because it it killing our city and the beautiful people in our city.

  • Ole greggg

    Memphis is dying from within. Jusy like every other democrat controlled city, you become dependent on everyone else and blame everyone else for your failures. The people become animals and progressive disease slowly spreads.

    People like this committ crimes like this because they no longer respect themselves non the less others. And then they blame all the people for leaving to the burbs when it becomes so violent.

  • PsdOffMPDWife

    While I feel for the victims, what Channel 3 FAILS (as always) to accurately report is that Ms. Wight is one of the owners of Huey’s….one of the local businesses standing with the Memphis Chamber in their fight to steal promised benefits from MPD & MFD employees.

    What MANY do not understand is that these men & women who risk their LIVES to save ours are NOT elegible to receive social security because the City of Memphis elected to have a pension plan for employees.

    They are only elegible if they have worked other jobs before, during or after their retirement from Memphis. ….and then they will face severe financial penalty through social security.

    Educate yourselves on this serious issue, please!!!!

    Consider the reprocussions of your stand on this issue. ….especially before sending a letter to the police director, DEMANDING something, such as increased security, from his family. …when you and your business SUPPORT those in the Chamber and City Administration, who are robbing his FAMILY!

  • FB

    They say people are leaving Memphis because of high taxes, I say they are leaving because of high crime. The Mayors solution; lower taxes by demoralizing the police and fire departments.

  • tasmanian devil

    We need to get this crime under control and attack the thugs with strong but professional policing. Unfortunately, many feel that this city would rather attack the police and run them all off. I am no braniac but I can see that is a horrible strategy. We are losing 1k to 2k of our population in the city a year, to what taxes? Nope. To crime. People are sick of it. Were I on council I would vote to raise either property tax by 5 dollars per month per 100k your home is worth, or do the 1/2 cent sales tax and do a 2 cent hotel tax. I would fund what is owed to the police and fire and I would do like Nashville and invest in my police department and concentrate on hiring only the best. In Canada the police are so trusted , granted it is very hard to get the job, they can stamp your passport. We need the best of the best. We can turn this city around if we stand up and do what needs to be done to fix it. Being afraid to pass a tax to get us out of a hole is not the answer and stripping us of police and firemen is sacrificing our safety and will surely result it more people leaving as crime drives upward. Support the police and the fire, pay them what is owed and get more, not less! (And get the best you can find!)

  • Fedup

    Hey Devil, you have your facts wrong. 25 year retirement might be available from some companies, but what company lets you retire at 25 years and lets you collect your pension the next day? Most companies make you wait till you are 55 or 60 to start drawing your pension. City employees are retiring when they are in their 40’s and drawing their pension right then, putting a serious strain on the pension fund because they draw the pension for quite a few years. What idiots beside the city workers actually believe they can live off their pension alone, with no other retirement planning. They draw about 63% of their salary in pension benefits, are you gonna live a comfortable life style on that money? I pay 7 1/2% SS and contribute to my pension and pay into Roth IRA because I realize my pension is not gonna support me in my retirement. Just because the city employees didn’t make sound retirement choices and put that extra 7 1/2% to good use, they are struggling to make ends meet. Now the union is talking about a high deductible plan to off set the premium increase. In what world is having a $100 family deduction smart business by the city. The union said a deductible increase could save 23 million $ but I never heard what the new deductible would be. I have a $7500 family deductible and that is pretty normal in today’s world. Why not have a higher deductible, cut out the ridiculous amount of sick days and holidays and use those savings to offset the premium increase. Even the proposed increases do not take the monthly premiums out of the norm for most people in the private sector. Except for some of the retirees, working employees will still pay below $400 in monthly premiums. Very average premiums by today’s standards. The city workers believe they are entitled to benefits as they have been for the last 50 years. Times change and at some point, benefit programs must change with the times. It is time the city workers realize what the rest of working class people have known for years. Employers must make changes and reductions to benefits because today’s economy is totally different from those of past decades.

  • downtowner

    This is unacceptable. We need more police downtown, and fewer police manning speed traps. Police need to be on every corner downtown at all times.

  • downtowner

    Just walked around downtown for 90 minutes, from 8:30 to 10:00 PM. Didn’t see a single police officer. Not even at Beale Street. Plenty of people walking around though. Where are the cops?

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