Thief poses as beggar, robs deacon at gunpoint - New York News

Thief poses as beggar, robs deacon at gunpoint

Posted: Updated:
DETROIT, Mich. (WJBK) -

"I said Lord, I thank you for sparing his life, because he could have been left dead."

A group gathers for prayer at the Greater Ship of Zion Baptist Church on Detroit's west side, on Joy Road near Ohio Street, after their 74-year-old deacon, Willie Lyte, was robbed there at gunpoint.

"He's just a working deacon, always doing something in the church," one of the parishioners tells Fox 2's Andrea Isom.

And Tuesday that's exactly what he was up to when he heard knock at the door. "He asked me if we had any food in the church. I said, 'Sure come on in,'" Lyte explains. Lyte then led the stranger to this food basket. The man looked through it and picked up a can of pasta, then asked for a spoon. Lyte took him into another room to grab the utensil and that's when the mood changed.  

"It was like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," Lyte recalls.

"He saw this big safe in there, and that's when he pulled his gun and said 'Open the safe!'" But Lyte did not know the combination, so the man then demanded the deacon empty his pockets and give him everything. "I had 40 dollars, I gave him that. He said 'Is that your truck parked outside?' I said, 'Yeah, it is.' He said 'Give me the keys.'" Lyte says the man was pointing a gun to him, threatening to kill him, so he handed over the keys and his cell phone.

Lyte continues, "He told me he was leaving, don't peek out the door or he'll blow my head off."

Parishioners share their frustration with Isom, saying the man took advantage of Lyte's kindness. Lyte says he has prayed for the man and asked God to forgive him, and that he will not let this keep him from helping others in the future.

"I'm here to serve the community, and I can't say who's hungry and who's not hungry, who's coming to rob me and who's not coming to rob me," Lyte says. "I just put it in the hands of the Lord, and I know he'll take care of me."

Lyte's vehicle that was stolen is a blue 2012 Ford F150. The plate number DV961R and it has disabled veteran plates. If you see it, or know anything, call Detroit Police.

  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • NY brothers invent machine that makes CPR easier

    NY brothers invent machine that makes CPR easier

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 6:40 PM EDT2014-07-29 22:40:57 GMT
    Only 10 percent of people who get CPR from a bystander actually survive. But two young men in Westchester County have now patented a device that could dramatically increase those odds and save lives. John and Chris DiCapua's sitting room in their parents' Westchester County home has had a unique guest lying around for quite a while now: a CPR dummy. What began as an idea from their time as Boy Scouts is now a device that could potentially save lives.
    Only 10 percent of people who get CPR from a bystander actually survive. But two young men in Westchester County have now patented a device that could dramatically increase those odds and save lives. John and Chris DiCapua's sitting room in their parents' Westchester County home has had a unique guest lying around for quite a while now: a CPR dummy. What began as an idea from their time as Boy Scouts is now a device that could potentially save lives.
  • NYC stores with no signs feed curiosity

    NYC stores with no signs feed curiosity

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 6:31 PM EDT2014-07-29 22:31:37 GMT
    From coffee shops in Brooklyn to restaurants in Manhattan, we find speakeasies standing out by blending in. When people in Bushwick want a green machine juice blend they visit Leticia Castillo's Owl Juice Pub. But first they must find the owl. "We been doing fine without a sign," Castillo says.
    From coffee shops in Brooklyn to restaurants in Manhattan, we find speakeasies standing out by blending in. When people in Bushwick want a green machine juice blend they visit Leticia Castillo's Owl Juice Pub. But first they must find the owl. "We been doing fine without a sign," Castillo says.
  • Ex-Councilman Halloran quickly convicted in bribery plot

    Ex-Councilman Halloran quickly convicted in bribery plot

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:53 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:53:04 GMT
    A jury took only about 90 minutes Tuesday to convict former New York City Councilman Daniel Halloran of bribery charges in a scheme to buy a spot on the mayoral ballot for state Sen. Malcolm Smith. Halloran was also found guilty of taking payoffs from what he thought were developers who wanted him to funnel city money their way. The men were actually an FBI agent and an FBI informant.
    A jury took only about 90 minutes Tuesday to convict former New York City Councilman Daniel Halloran of bribery charges in a scheme to buy a spot on the mayoral ballot for state Sen. Malcolm Smith. Halloran was also found guilty of taking payoffs from what he thought were developers who wanted him to funnel city money their way. The men were actually an FBI agent and an FBI informant.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Mark Schauer says he will not sign the 'no tax pledge'

    Mark Schauer says he will not sign the 'no tax pledge'

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 7:13 PM EDT2014-07-29 23:13:01 GMT
    The Democratic candidate for governor Mark Schauer says he will not sign the no tax pledge, and says he probably would have sent Detroit in bankruptcy if he had been governor. 
    The Democratic candidate for governor Mark Schauer says he will not sign the no tax pledge, and says he probably would have sent Detroit in bankruptcy if he had been governor. 
  • Three arrested after military reservist killed during carjacking

    Three arrested after military reservist killed during carjacking

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 7:01 PM EDT2014-07-29 23:01:39 GMT
    A third suspect is under arrest in the carjacking and murder of a young man outside the Superland Market at Schoolcraft Road and Rutland Street Monday night.
    A third suspect is under arrest in the carjacking and murder of a young man outside the Superland Market at Schoolcraft Road and Rutland Street Monday night.
  • Duggan bringing big changes to Detroit water department, starting with shutoffs

    Duggan bringing big changes to Detroit water department, starting with shutoffs

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:56 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:56:25 GMT
    Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is promising big changes at the water department, starting with the controversial shutoffs."Certainly it has hurt the reputation of the city," Duggan said. "I have been anxious to do something about it for awhile and I am just glad I have a chance to do it,"Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr handed over the water department to the mayor and City Council TuesdayDuggan says better publicizing assitance programs is the biggest priority."I still don't think the people in need h...
    Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is promising big changes at the water department, starting with the controversial shutoffs."Certainly it has hurt the reputation of the city," Duggan said. "I have been anxious to do something about it for awhile and I am just glad I have a chance to do it,"Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr handed over the water department to the mayor and City Council TuesdayDuggan says better publicizing assitance programs is the biggest priority."I still don't think the people in need h...
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices