CLEVELAND--It started with an ad on Craigslist and ended with an aggravated robbery.
“My son has the other gentleman around the throat, secured like this while he was tussling with him," said John Capone of Hinkley. “I noticed the gentleman had pulled out a gun, like this, turned and stuck it in his belly.”
A terrifying event, which a witness captured on cell phone video. Footage of a real-life nightmare for John Capone and his 17-year-old son, Lance.
“I was just so scared to death,” Lance Capone said. “I really was. I thought my life was going to be ended right there on the spot.”
The father and son were robbed January 16 when they went to E. 114th Street in Cleveland to sell an ATV.
Capone said he made plans to meet a man that had answered his ad on Craigslist.
Capone still has copies of the text message exchange between him and the one suspect. The man had agreed to pay him $3,000 for the ATV.
He said since the man gave him a street address, and said his father was a cop, he felt confident the sale was legitimate.
Capone noted that when he arrived at the home, the man and his buddy were sitting on the front porch. The many showed him a wad of cash and asked to take the ATV for a test drive.
“I released the bike here; he went three houses up, turned around and zoomed past and at that time, I knew he was just gone,” Capone said.
And Capone said the other suspect took off with the cash. His son, Lance, tried to chase him, and that’s when they say the second suspect pulled a gun.
A similar crime happened to 24-year-old Chad Smith of Ashtabula.
He also listed his ATV on Craigslist and in December went to a neighborhood to sell it, this one in East Cleveland.
“He wanted to hear it run, so we pulled it out of the truck, and then we started it up,” Smith recalled. “He asked me if I could take it down the street to see if everything runs good, so I started it up, drove it down the street, came back, and then he asked if he could take it for a test drive. I said, 'sure go ahead.' He got on it, went down the street and that was the last time I’ve seen him.”
Police said these type of robberies are not uncommon.
“Their police officers even told me that we should thank God we are both alive, that this happens every single day,” Capone said.
Cleveland police officials said when selling items, people need to use caution.
“There are a number of things citizens can do to stay safe when buying or selling,” said Sgt. Ali Pillow of Cleveland police. “Be careful, meet in a public place, stay away from residential neighborhoods, keep meetings to public places.”
Capone said he has learned the hard way, and hopes others watching his story, will take the necessary precautions.
“If it can happen to me, it can happen to anybody,” Capone said