MPD: Man robbed at knifepoint while talking on phone at Court Square downtown

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Memphis police are looking for three men they say robbed a man at knifepoint as he smoked a cigarette outside on Friday. It happened at Court Square downtown.

Court Square is popular for having food trucks on Thursdays, but there are also several businesses, restaurants and hotels right by it.

On Friday, police said a man was out on a smoke break around 8 p.m. when he was robbed there.

Officers said he was on his cell phone when three men approached him. One of them wearing a black skull cap and a hoodie asked for a cigarette, but then pulled out a double-sided knife.

Police said the three men robbed the 30-year-old victim and ran away. Luckily, he wasn’t hurt.

However, that’s not always the case with crimes in the area.

“You never know when anything’s going to happen," said Gary Shelton, who lives in Memphis. "I had a friend get shot in the head last year at this park.”

Gary says that friend survived, but the incident keeps him on alert.

“We just try to keep an eye on our surroundings.”

He said he hears of robberies happening there often, but police have only reported one assault and no other violent crimes at the square in the past three months -- Although other areas downtown do see more reports of robberies and assaults.

“I think it’s everywhere," said Marvin Hendrick, who lives in Memphis. "I think so.”

The incident's a good reminder to always be aware of your surroundings and avoid doing things that keep you distracted when you’re outside by yourself, such as talking on a phone or listening to music with earbuds in.