A 40-year-old Northeast Washington man, paralyzed from the chest down and confined to a wheelchair, has been charged with armed robbery in connection with a late-night street holdup a few blocks from his apartment.
Stanley Lawrence, who told police he lives in the 900 block of G Street NE, allegedly approached 25-year-old Cassandra Perry early Tuesday morning at the intersection of 13th and G streets NE, his wheelchair pushed by an unidentified man.
Perry told police that Lawrence, paralyzed in 1976 after he was shot in the back by a police officer during a narcotics arrest, allegedly drew a handgun and said, "Give me that money or I'll shoot you."
Perry, also of Northeast, said she gave the man $220, after which he said, "Don't try to follow me or I'll shoot you," and his companion pushed his wheelchair away down G Street.
Investigators said that a friend of Perry's had handed her the money moments before Lawrence allegedly approached, and that Lawrence apparently had seen the exchange.
Perry flagged down a police officer who arrested Lawrence as he was about to enter his apartment building. Investigators say they did not find any of the money and were still looking for the man who pushed Lawrence's wheelchair.
Lawrence denied any involvement in the robbery, and has been released on personal recognizance. He was scheduled to stand trial on an unrelated gun charge starting Tuesday, but those proceedings were delayed.
Lawrence was awarded $303,000 in damages by a Superior Court jury in 1978 as a result of the police shooting.
"I've been in the robbery squad for 15 years," Detective Robert Groat said of the alleged incident, "and I've never seen one as bizarre as this one."