Houston & Peach

Bartender recounts American Legion armed robbery in Warner Robins

WARNER ROBINS -- Bartender Tina McGowan returned to work for the first time Tuesday since a masked man pointed a shotgun in her face and threatened to kill her if she didn’t hand over cash.

“I’m still shook up just talking about it,” said the 49-year-old Warner Robins resident who works part time at the American Legion at 1523 Moody Road.

McGowan was busy and didn’t see the man wearing a dark-colored bandana, black hoodie and camouflage pants walk in the door and up to the bar about 12:30 p.m. Thursday. She looked up as he threw a black bag on the counter and demanded she fill it with money.

Thinking he was a prankster, McGowan said, she giggled. Then he pulled out the shotgun and threatened her.

“I couldn’t believe it,” McGowan said. “We’re supposed to be taking care of our veterans at the American Legion, and here this guy comes in to rob me.

“I just started praying to God to keep me cool and calm, and he did,” she said.

The suspect, described as a light-skinned, slender black male weighing about 170 to 180 pounds and 5 feet 8 to 5 feet 9 inches tall, ordered another employee to lie down on the floor. A patron and two men working on lottery machines also were inside the building.

The suspect fled when he got the cash, and no one was hurt. The incident remains under investigation, said Jennifer Parson, public information officer for Warner Robins police.

Anyone with information is asked to call Warner Robins police at 478-302-5380.

To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.