robbed gunpoint

It takes a special kind of evil to rob a child. It takes an even greater evil to rob a child at gunpoint, which is exactly what happened to 9-year-old Mark David.

On Aug. 5, Mark was selling lemonade in his neighborhood in Union County, North Carolina when a teenager approached. The next thing Mark knew, the teen shoved a gun in his stomach and demanded money.

“I opened the box, he grabbed it, pushed the gun at me and ran away,” Mark recalled of the harrowing experience. According to Mark’s father, Philip Smith, the armed robber made off with $17 cash.

Police were just as shocked about the robbery as the rest of the public. “I think people are capable of a lot of things, but not robbing a child at a lemonade stand, that takes it to a new level,” said Tony Underwood with the Union County Sheriff’s Office.

Smith added, “It’s pretty low, despicable in my book and I can’t believe someone would stoop that low to steal money from him.”

Indeed, news of the unthinkable robbery spread fast – and when Mark’s local Lowe’s store learned that he’d been raising money to buy a new lawn mower, they decided to give him a brand new riding mower for free.

What a stand-up move by Lowe’s. Whereas other big-box stores are alienating whole swaths of customers by entering the political realm, Lowe’s is helping to promote a hard work ethic among young people. Sadly, that’s more than many parents can say.

Furthermore, Mark didn’t allow the robbery to deter his entrepreneurial spirit. According to Smith, Mark was out selling lemonade again less than 24 hours after the robbery – and his entire neighborhood turned out in support, buying hundreds of cups of lemonade. “It feels great that the neighborhood came out. They have given him money, support,” Smith said. “They gave him notes of encouragement, they gave him letters. It’s just great they came out in support of him.”

Keep selling lemonade and mowing lawns, Mark!

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