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Oct. 21, 2013 [RE-BROADCAST OF 5/24/2010]

PHOENIX -- There was only one thing that Lavene could see.

"Once I saw there was a gun barrel in my chest, I couldn't see anything else but that gun," Lavene said.

Lavene was sitting in his car, along the curb in front of a house, near 24th Street and Lincoln on the morning of April 21. He was on his phone and waiting for his client to get home.

A woman approached his driver's side window and asked to use his phone to make a call.

Lavene said that at that moment, a man came up from behind him and "poked a revolver in (his) face and said he was going to blow (Lavene's) head off."

The man then demanded Lavene's cell phone.

"He grabbed it out of my hands, and then he said, ‘Give me your wallet,'" Lavene said. "And I started fumbling for the wallet. He decided that wasn't quick enough, so he opened the car door and said, 'Get out of the car and get on the ground.' So I started to get out and that wasn't quick enough, so he grabbed me by the front of my shirt and pulled me out of the car."

Then the man shoved Lavene to the ground.

"I was going down to my knees, and that wasn't fast enough, so he hit me in the back with the butt of the gun, and then he kicked me flat on the ground," Lavene said.

The gunman then stepped over Lavene and got in the car.

"When he slammed the door, I thought ‘Oh my gosh he's going to drive off,'" Lavene said. "And then I heard the car start. And when I went down, I'm in front of the left rear wheel, so my arm was under the front of that left rear wheel. As I moved my arm, the car wheel drove past my body, so it was very close."

Lavene escaped with just scrapes and bruises.

"The vehicle was recovered, but a large amount of cash was taken from inside the vehicle," Phoenix Police Sgt. Darren Burch said.

Burch said both suspects are Hispanic. The woman is probably in her early 30s, and the man may be is in his 20s.

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About the Author

Years with the company: 18

More on what you do (at work): I put up with Mac & Gaydos every day as well as writing and anchoring newscasts and doing some reporting. I also produce Silent Witness which airs every Monday morning.

Education: I started in radio during high school and kept with it. I also graduated from modeling school, but quickly realized it isn't what I love to do…radio is.

Family: Married. One pet…a cat named Molly (but she thinks her name is Princess).

Favorite food: I love anything cheesy or chocolatey.

Favorite spot in Arizona: Our family cabin in Strawberry.

Favorite news memory: Too many to list but I remember one time I helped rescue a litter of puppies found in a hole on an empty lot…

Favorite movie: I like too many to list any one as a favorite. I don't like sad movies so my LEAST favorite is Marley & Me!

First job: Washing dishes at the restaurant my friend's parents owned when I was 13.

First concert: Rick Springfield at the Arizona State Fair in 1981.

#1 sports team: Suns, Diamondbacks and Cardinals

Outside interests: I sing with the band at church, I bake, I read and I treasure hunt at thrift stores and yard sales. I also love to travel…but not if I have to drive.


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