CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A teenager in Charlotte was robbed and attacked near a Charlotte high school by a classmate, according to police.
The incident happened around Westerwood Drive, near West Mecklenburg High School, just after noon Tuesday. Several West Mecklenburg High School students were present at the time of the robbery.
According to police, a 15-year-old student was approached by a classmate and told to empty his pockets. The second teenager, who was also 15, reportedly pulled out a gun. Police said both students were truant, and that often leads to trouble. Police say the suspect will be charged with armed robbery.
"Perfect example of truancy," CMPD Lt. Julie Barry said. "When kids are not in school, the things that they are committing - crimes themselves or becoming victims of crimes."
Police said the teen who was being robbed attempted to get the weapon away from the robber and was hit with the weapon.
"The victim tries to take the gun from the suspect," Lt. Barry said. "And at that point, there was a little struggle that ensued."
The teen ran back to school and told the school resource officer what happened. He was then taken to the hospital to be treated for his injures.
The SRO called police with a description of the armed teen, and he was found a short time later. That teen was also taken to the hospital - sources said he got stuck in the bushes while trying to run away and had scratches and bruises.
Police said they were able to catch him so quickly because officers know the paths students take, and police have beefed up their presence at the school.
Both students were reportedly truant at the time of the alleged robbery. Parents say something needs to be done to keep students in school.
"When I drop my son off to school in the morning," parent Lucy Lanave said, "It seems like the parents drop them off - go to work and [the students] are starting to walk down the road."
"They need to probably put monitors up," another parent, Ronnie Lomick said. "When they are getting out of school - probably having someone walk through the area making sure all the kids are safe."
Police say this is an ongoing problem and are working with the district to try and control students skipping school.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg School officials say students are given clear expectations for student behavior and conduct.
"These expectations are set forth in the Code of Student Conduct. Students who violate the Code of Student Conduct receive disciplinary action in accordance with these guidelines," school officials said. "CMS encourages parents to have conversations with their children about unacceptable behavior and consequences. These values and consequences are intended to provide a safe learning environment for all students."