Late in the evening of October 11, 2007, 18-year-old Taquan Lovelle Anderson—police authorities allege—walked into the Exxon on Cherry Avenue where he encountered the store’s owner, Suresh Parekh. Demanding the night’s deposit (reportedly, around $1,900), Anderson then shot the owner with a stun gun, first in the front shoulder and then in his back.
This Exxon on Cherry Avenue was the site of a stun gun robbery on October 11. Suresh Parekh, who has owned the store for four years and was injured by the stun gun, says he isn’t particularly bothered by the attack. Surveillance footage (below) at the Emmet Street Exxon caught 19-year-old Nicholas Dar Robinson, an alleged accomplice of Taquan Lovelle Anderson, who is accused of two stun gun robberies.
"I did not feel anything," says Suresh Parekh. "I just fell to the ground."
Four days later, another Exxon—this time on Emmet Street—was robbed. Raymond Massey is the manager there. He was not on the premises when that theft occurred, but according to charges later filed, the attendant on October 15 was apparently stabbed during the course of the robbery. That person no longer works at the filling station, Massey says, at least partially because of the incident.
Two weeks later, police arrested Anderson for both burglaries, eventually charging him with 11 felonies, including—for the Cherry Avenue event—robbery, possession of a stun gun after being convicted of a felony, malicious wounding, and use of a stun gun in the commission of a felony. As of now, Anderson’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for November 15. Police believe that Anderson was aided in that robbery and have charged 19-year-old Nicholas Dar Robinson with robbery as well.
Under Virginia law, a stun gun is treated the same as a firearm when used in the course of a violent felony. "It can cause serious bodily injury," says Charlottesville Police Sergeant Cheryl Smith. "It doesn’t always. You can get shot [with a firearm] and not necessarily suffer serious bodily injury either."
Parekh, meanwhile, does not seem to have carried lasting effects. He says that he has owned the Cherry Avenue Exxon for four years and is unperturbed despite the attack. That is because, he explains, he was a proprietor in a significantly more dangerous region before moving here. "That was in New York state," he says.
Emmet Exxon manager Massey has worked four nights since the robbery and says he is not swayed by the incident. "In fact," he says, "I’ll be here Sunday night."
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