An iconic Cincinnati civil rights advocate was recently robbed at gunpoint in his own home.
Rev. Damon Lynch II, 78, was attacked while retrieving his mail, according to authorities. Police at District 4 headquarters in Avondale say they are not sure if the robbers knew who they were targeting.
A man who has offered aid and comfort to hundreds of victims in the past 50 years can now say he knows exactly how they feel.
"I never dreamed that I would have been robbed at my own mailbox, in my own driveway," said Lynch.
Lynch says he was coming home from a burial when he stopped at his mailbox. Seconds later, he saw a man jump out of a car, come at him, point a gun and shout.
"'I don't want to hurt ya. All I wanna do is just get what's in your pocket. Don't make no move. Don't make no move. I don't want to hurt you OG. Don't make me have to kill you.' And by that time he was in my pocket. He was rifling in my pocket with one hand he was getting stuff from the front, the back, the other front, the other back," Lynch said. "And when he finished that he ran and got back in his car."
Lynch says the encounter with the crook lasted about 30 seconds. Keith Fangman is the investigating Cincinnati police officer on the case. He says the offender got away with about $400 in cash and the reverend's wallet.
"Knowing Reverend Lynch the way that I do and many officers do -- what a wonderful man he is and a great guy and I consider him a friend -- we're just all very, very thankful and feel very, very blessed that he wasn't hurt," said Fangman.
For the next couple of days, police say they will do direct patrol safety checks at the Lynch house in case the criminals want to strike again.
Lynch has been a pastor and advocate for civil rights in Cincinnati since the 1960s. He is one of the original founders of the Freedom Center and is the current Chairman of the Board.
As a man of the cloth, Lynch says he forgives the men who held him up and hopes they remember what the Good Book says.
"Thou shalt not steal and I'm sure they've heard that somewhere but I don't think it has sunk in yet," he said.
Police are looking for an older model gray or tan four-door sedan with temporary license plates. The robber was wearing what police describe as a black "do-rag" covering his head. The offender is described as a black male, 28-30 years old, 5 feet 11 inches with a thin but muscular build. Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers at 513-352-3040.
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