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Gun-toting teen robber highlights metro...

Posted at 10:14 PM, Mar 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-25 00:36:10-04

A 15 year-old Omaha boy is behind bars after a man said the teen threatened his girlfriend and her mother near 53rd and Spaulding Wednesday night.

William Hollis, Jr. said the young man pointed a gun at his girlfriend and her mother and demanded her car keys. Eventually Hollis wrestled the boy to the ground. After he got the gun away from him, Hollis held him down until police arrived.

“'[I asked] Why are you doing this?’ He told me he was homeless, had been kicked out of his house and was hungry with nowhere to go. I asked, ‘Didn’t you ask somebody for help? There are plenty of people willing to help. There are plenty of people all over this town willing to help,’” Hollis said.

Allison Brown-Corson works with Youth Emergency Services (YES) in Omaha. She says the incident highlights a growing homeless teen problem in the metro. Over the past three years, YES has doubled the number of teens it serves from 800 to 1600.

“We see a lot of youth kicked out because they're pregnant, because of their sexual orientation. They leave because of physical, sexual, emotional abuse,” she said.

Brown-Corson said the event also highlights the organizations participation in the “Safe Place” program. It arms area business like Quik Trip, Subway, and Hy-Vee with the training to take on teens seek safe harbor. They immediately contact YES.

“We will get you the help that you need, whether its food clothing, shower, a place to stay, that's what we're here for,” Brown-Carson said.