An unlikely victim of a crime in the city he serves, Richmond Vice Mayor Eduardo Martinez was robbed at gunpoint on Oct. 26, his wallet and phone taken.
On Wednesday, Martinez recounted the frightful events of that night and was crediting modern technology and good police work for putting the suspect behind bars.
"He comes out with a revolver, pulls it out and waves it back and forth, telling us to give him our wallets," Martinez recalled. "When I saw the gun, I put my hands up."
At first, Martinez told the armed man he wasn’t going to hand him his belongings. Then, Martinez said, the suspect put the gun against Martinez's midsection and took his wallet and phone.
A friend Martinez was standing with outside Riggers Loft in Point Richmond had no money so the robber drove away.
"There was a minute I was terrified," Martinez said. "That is when he seemed to have gotten agitated. ... I think it was a crime of opportunity."
Martinez had just finished serving as master of ceremonies for an event at the winery. Police said surveillance video from a Port of Richmond camera captured the man driving away in a stolen car. That video helped police track down the suspect, as well as Martinez's wallet and phone.
"I think it shows security systems work," Martinez said.
Martinez’s friend found two of the vice mayor's credit cards a few miles away. Martinez considers himself lucky.
"I think this illustrates how good our police department works when it’s doing what it’s supposes to do," he said.
Martinez said he believes he did the right thing; he remained calm and complied with the suspect's demands. The suspect, a Richmond resident, is now in jail, facing armed robbery and auto theft charges.