Election Volunteer Robbery: Suspect Sought In Campaign Office Mugging Of 88-Year-Old Michigan Man

11/06/2012 11:47 am ET | Updated Jan 06, 2013
  • Tammy Stables Battaglia Detroit Free Press

Investigators spent Monday searching for a man who robbed an 88-year-old election volunteer as he was leaving the Democratic Party campaign office in Pontiac.

A knife-wielding man confronted the Bloomfield Township election worker as he left the office in downtown Pontiac at 1:35 p.m. Saturday, according to the Oakland County Sheriff's Office. The robber took $76 in cash, and then forced the man to drive him to 7 Mile and Woodward, where the robber ran off.

The victim was slightly injured when he swerved to try to get the attention of a marked Detroit police patrol car. He called police after he drove to Bloomfield Township.

"We take the safety and security of all of our grassroots volunteers -- who put in countless hours and without whom this campaign cannot function -- very seriously," Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer said in a statement issued Monday. "We will do everything we can to help investigators get to the bottom of this. For now, our thoughts are with the victim of this senseless and cruel act of violence." The robber, about 40, was wearing a University of Michigan jacket and a stocking cap, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Investigators are scouring video from area businesses to try to get a picture of the suspect.

Matt McGrath, Michigan spokesman for the Obama for President campaign, said the victim has been a proud Democrat since 1928 and cast his first vote for president for Franklin D. Roosevelt.

"He's just a very nice and energetic gentleman who volunteers all the time, asks what he can do to do the most good, and tells great stories," McGrath said in an e-mail. "And when we called to check in on him, he told us to get back to work -- to make sure everyone votes tomorrow.

"He's an incredibly valued part of the team, we're horrified this happened to him, and relieved he's OK." ___

(c)2012 the Detroit Free Press

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