Woman in wheelchair fights off teenage robbery suspects in Dyersburg

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DYERSBURG, Tenn. — A 16-year-old boy is facing a serious charge after Dyersburg police say he tried to rob a woman in a wheelchair.

It was the middle of the afternoon Thursday when Lisa Sills returned home to her apartment off Lee Street with a bag of groceries.

The 60-year-old says she got out of her car and into her wheelchair, then headed for her front door when six teenagers with masks and hoodies came walking up. Sills says one of them offered to lend a hand.

“He said can I help you? I said no. I got this. No thank you,” Sills said.

She says his next question wasn’t so nice.

“Can we help you lighten your purse?” Sills said.

His request quickly became a demand.

“(He said) give me your money. Told him I don’t carry money in my purse and he said how about if I just shoot you?” Sills said.

Sills was alarmed but says she bravely stood her ground.

“I said you’re just gonna have to shoot me!” Sills said.

She also says she was holding a knife the teen couldn’t see.

“If he was gonna step one more step into my personal space I was gonna stab him,” Sills said.

And once she got to her apartment, Sills did the following.

“I opened the door and yelled hey real loud to make them think there were more people here,” Sills said, “They all took off running because they thought someone else was in the apartment.”

Officers found the juveniles not too far from the apartment complex and after a brief chase they detained all six young men for questioning but only arrested a 16-year-old. They say that’s the teen who threatened to shoot Sills. Police say he was carrying a BB gun.

Sills hopes the young man can turn his life around. He’s currently charged with attempted aggravated robbery.

“If they start out this young it’s going to be bad when they get older,” Sills said.

The 16-year-old is also charged with criminal impersonation. Police say he initially lied to officers by using his brother’s identity.

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