Grandmother, grandchildren robbed at gunpoint while playing at Memphis park

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Mid-South grandmother said she was enjoying a day at a Memphis park with her grand kids when it turned into a life-or-death situation.

An innocent day at the park cut short for the family because of violence.

“We were swinging the kids here, back and forth; we were just having fun,” she said. “When we turned around to swing the babies, they’re like, ‘Don’t move!’”

She didn’t want to show her face or use her name because police haven’t caught the perpetrators. She said in that moment, three young men held her at gunpoint and threatened to kill her grandchild.

She said he pistol-whipped her, causing her to bleed from the back of her head.

The men took their bags and then their keys, ransacked their car and took important documents.

“My daughter had all her stuff in the van because she’s moving, and they stole it,” she said.

Soon after, she ran for help and found it.

“I stopped, noticed she was bleeding bad,” Rhonda Vail said. “The other car pulled up. We got in the car to cool her off. Then I started to apply pressure to slow the bleeding down and called ambulance and police.”

We were there when Vail and the victim had an emotional reunion Monday. Vail was relieved the victim survived.

Unfortunately though, she said she already knew how dangerous Emerald Park could be, even though it’s right next to Newberry Elementary School.

“I wouldn’t come here,” she said. “I would recommend you just go up to another park.”

This grandmother is trying to let others know the same thing because she had to learn the hard way.

Police said a witness saw the three men get into a dark-colored sedan appearing to be a newer model Toyota Camry with Tennessee tags.

The robbery happened just before 1 p.m. Saturday.

Anyone with information should call CrimeStoppers at 901-528-CASH.

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