NEW ORLEANS -- Police and patrons are searching for answers after a male teenager dressed as a woman robbed the St. Roch Tavern at gunpoint.
Just after 1 p.m. on July 7, St. Roch Tavern Management says a teenager walked into their bar and asked for service. The bartender initially asked for ID and then refused to serve the teen when he said he didn't have it.
"And then he says 'how about I just take it,'" said Martha Wood, the bar's manager.
Wood said the robbed then pulled out a gun and demanded money from the bartender. However, even after he got the money, Wood said he still hit the bartender hard enough to knock her out.
"He didn't have to hit her like that, she's fine, but she's hurt," Wood said.
Wood shared surveillance video with Eyewitness News. It shows the robber, a male teenager dressed as a woman and wearing a wig.
What's mysterious to Wood is the teen seemed to know specifically where the bartenders kept the money.
A neighbor also shared a video with Eyewitness News showing what looks like a teen wearing a wig and running away down St. Roch Avenue right after the time of the robbery.
New Orleans Police are now investigating, as some locals are finding out what happened.
"It really did look like they did their research, they knew when to collect the money from the poker slots," said Victoria Elmwood, a regular at the bar.
The news comes as a huge disappointment for regulars who say the bar has been a longtime hangout for various community action groups and neighbors.
"And I thought that really stinks, so I wanted to come down and have a beer and leave some money for the bartender and make sure she's okay," said Tom Pepper, Common Ground Relief Executive Director and a regular at the bar.
The regulars we talked with say this could not have happened to a friendlier bartender.
"She's a wonderful person, and she's great with my dogs and always got a kind word," Elmwood said.
So far, a $5,000 reward has been pulled together by the bar to find the suspect. In the meantime, customers said they hope the bartender is on the mend and can’t wait to share a drink with her when she gets back.
Anyone with information on this robbery is asked to call CRIMESTOPPERS at 504-822-1111.
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