Powered by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

Updated: 3:36 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014 | Posted: 3:37 p.m. Monday, Aug. 25, 2014

Armed & dangerous: 89-year-old World War II veteran shoots armed robber

  • comment(6)



Related

PBSO: 89-year-old Lake Park jeweler stands ground, shoots armed robber photo
Arthur M. Lewis, 89. (Photo by Jorge Milian)
PBSO: 89-year-old Lake Park jeweler stands ground, shoots armed robber photo
An 89-year-old jewelry store owner in Lake Park fought an armed robber at The Jeweler’s Exchange then shot him four times on Saturday, August, 23, 2014 during an attempted robbery. (Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post)

By Jorge Milian

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Arthur M. Lewis may be elderly, but criminals are learning the North Palm Beach man is no easy mark.

The 89-year-old decorated World War II veteran foiled an armed robbery attempt Saturday afternoon at his Lake Park jewelry business that left a 44-year-old suspect with six gunshot wounds, but no loot.

Lewis was working behind the counter at The Jewelry Exchange at 900 N. Federal Highway when he was approached by a gun-wielding man around 3 p.m., according to an arrest report from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. Lewis said he immediately grabbed the suspect’s revolver and pulled out a .38-caliber handgun from his own pocket.

The two men wrestled for several minutes and fired shots at each other. Despite battling someone half his age, Lewis got the best of it. A man identified by the sheriff’s office as Lennard Patrick Jervis, a Miramar resident, was shot six times by Lewis, including four times in the chest. Lewis’ left arm was grazed by a bullet, but he was otherwise unscathed.

No one else was in the store at the time.

“I thought he was going to kill me as soon as I saw the gun,” Lewis told The Palm Beach Post on Monday afternoon. “I thought, ‘This time, I’m dead.’ ”

Saturday was not the first time Lewis has traded gunfire with would-be robbers.

On Jan. 5, 2010, Brandon Jerard Johnson, 20, of Riviera Beach was arrested on charges of robbery with a firearm and attempted felony murder after he walked into The Jewelry Exchange and fired a shot point-blank at Lewis.

Lewis responded with five shots from his own gun, but no one was hurt.

“It’s a hazardous business,” said Lewis, who said he served in the Army and fought in the Pacific Theatre during WWII.

Although the 2010 incident was scary, Lewis said it didn’t compare to Saturday’s encounter.

Lewis said Jervis continued to fight with vigor, even with four gunshot wounds to the chest and one each to the wrist and leg. Large bullet holes remained in the store’s walls Monday and the area behind the counter where Lewis and Jervis fought hand to hand was trashed.

“People think because he’s 89, he’s frail,” said Vivien Bresnahan, Lewis’ girlfriend. “That irritates me because he’s anything but (frail).”

Jarvis eventually stumbled over the counter toward the front door and asked Lewis to buzz him out. Lewis complied.

“I was so glad to get rid of him,” said Lewis, who has been in business for 20 years. “I’d had enough of him.”

According to the sheriff’s office, Jervis left the scene in an SUV driven by Raven Simone Hill, a Miami resident. Hill told police that she picked up Jervis, who she referred to as “Dave,” after he was shot and was driving toward Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. “But ‘Dave’ was dying,” so she stopped and asked for assistance from the Boca Raton Police Department, according to an arrest report.

Jervis was taken to Delray Medical Center and is expected to survive, sheriff’s spokeswoman Teri Barbera said.

Jervis will be arrested and taken to the Palm Beach County Jail once he recovers and is expected to face charges of armed robbery to a business, felon in possession of a firearm, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, and armed burglary.

Court records show that Jervis has been arrested 20 times in Miami-Dade and Broward counties since 1989.

Hill, 23, is facing a charge of armed robbery for driving the getaway car. She was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail late Saturday and was released Sunday morning on her own recognizance.

  • comment(6)

More News

 
 

Today on MyAJC.com

Braves stadium will be named SunTrust Park

New home of the Braves: SunTrust Park

The Atlanta Braves’ new stadium in Cobb County will be called SunTrust Park as a result of a naming-rights deal announced Tuesday by the baseball team and the Atlanta-based banking company.

Reed: City will be involved in Hawks’ sale

Reed determined not to let another team leave Atlanta

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, who has already seen two professional sports franchises leave the city limits during his administration, is determined not to let a third get away.

Sept. 16, 2014

Photos: Obama visits CDC to discuss Ebola

President Obama traveled to the CDC in Atlanta to address the Ebola crisis and announced that he is sending 3,000 American troops to West Africa nations fight the spread of the Ebola epidemic.

Subscribe to the AJC on your device

24-hour Digital Pass: Flashback

See Flashback Fotos on myajc.com for only 99 cents. Visit the MyAJC archives for a historic look at Atlanta from Midtown in the 70s to Auburn Avenue and even life here before traffic jams on the interstates.

In your community

Annual Woofstock event in Suwanee

Volunteering in Atlanta

Learn how to volunteer in Atlanta and north Georgia, browse volunteer events and search local groups who need volunteers in the arts, community, food programs, housing, animal rescue and more.

Video

Mark Arum Weekend Construction Outlook

Updated every Friday, Mark Arum tells us where we can find construction, events and anything else to slow us down on the roads this weekend.