Police say former Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton was robbed by a hatchet-wielding man while leaving a restaurant in Phoenix Saturday night.
Stanton, who is now a congressional candidate, was reportedly robbed near 12th Avenue and Camelback Road.
Sources tell ABC15 Investigators that a man armed with a hatchet confronted Stanton as he was leaving the Thai Rama restaurant around 8:20 p.m. The man demanded cash from Stanton, who then threw his wallet at the suspect and ran back inside for help.
Police say they searched the area but were unable to locate the suspect, who has still yet to be found. The suspect is described as a white man between 35 and 40 years old with black hair, facial hair, and a chunky build. He was last seen wearing a white and brown striped shirt and jeans.
The Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, PLEA, issued the following statement regarding the robbery:
It's no secret the 73 Area of our Mountain View Precinct is one of the busiest in terms of calls for service. However, response times are hampered its geographical footprint, brought on by a precinct boundary change and staffing shortage which are both coupled to and compounded by the City's six-year hiring freeze. Another result of the boundary change is that the 61 Area of the Desert Horizon Precinct, where this incident occurred, has been stretched further south and east into what used to be the 73 area. How ironic that the man who helped run Phoenix into the ground by not advocating for sufficient police staffing is now a victim of that choice?
Stanton's office did not return calls from ABC15 for a response on Monday but told news talk radio station KTAR that he inherited many of those problems and put a strong police hiring plan in place before he resigned.
Fortunately, no injuries were reported during the Saturday night incident.
Stanton's spokesperson said he is in good spirits after the incident. He has released the following statement:
“As I was walking to my car after dinner, a man, armed with what appeared to be a hatchet, robbed me. I was not hurt. I want to thank the Phoenix Police Department for the very fast response of our officers, and for handling the case with such professionalism. Although incidents like this are scary, I’m undeterred and will be eating again at this local restaurant – one of my favorites – later this week.”