August 23, 2014

Elyria
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Sex offender accused of abducting bartender

LORAIN – A registered sex offender is behind bars after police say he robbed an East 28th Street bar early Tuesday, abducted the bartender at gunpoint, forced her to strip and made her perform oral sex.

Reginald Roberson, 54, of Cleveland, was charged with aggravated robbery, rape, carrying a concealed weapon, having weapons under disability and kidnapping. He was being held at the county jail without bond.

The female bartender, who was found a couple hours after the ordeal, was treated at the Nord Center, police said.

Police say she was working alone around 12:15 a.m. when Roberson walked into the Grown and Sexy Lounge, 1662½ E. 28th St., and asked for the manager. He left when he learned the manager wasn`t available, only to return five minutes later with a gun, the bartender told police.

A couple who stopped by the bar around 1 a.m. called the manager when they found the bar unattended. The manager came in a reviewed security tapes, calling police at 1:52 a.m. to report what he saw, police said.

The tape shows a black man in gray sweatpants, a black coat and wearing a do-rag on his head force the bartender to open the register so he could stuff $160 in his pockets. He then walked the woman out of the bar, police said.

A gunshot can be heard on the tape, police said.

Lorain police found the bartender walking out of an alley near Wood Avenue. She told police Roberson had fired his gun at the wall as they were leaving the bar, and he then blindfolded her using his do-rag and forced her into a car.

He told her she had to do what he said if she ever wanted to see her children again, the report said.

The woman said Roberson drove in circles near the Fulton Homes before he stopped at a house and led her up the stairs, the report said. She was still blindfolded, but she told officers she could catch glimpses of the East 36th Street water tower and a picket fence.

Roberson told the bartender to be quiet because his mother was asleep on the couch, according to the report. Then he changed his story and said that members of the Crips gang, to which he belongs, were asleep, she told police.

The woman said Roberson led her to a dark room, forced her to undress and made her perform oral sex, the report said.

When he was done, he blindfolded her again, dropped her in the alley and told her to count to 60 before leaving, the report said.

Roberson, meanwhile, was found sitting in a car in the parking lot of New Hope Baptist Church on East 28th Street. Police say he initially refused to leave the vehicle, but got out when two police officers started forcing open the door, according to the report.

Officers found a .22-caliber revolver beneath the driver`s seat that was loaded with six rounds. In his pocket, police found a wad of cash. He also was holding the do-rag seen in the security tapes, police said.
Records show he is a registered sex offender in Cuyahoga County and has previous convictions for rape, attempted rape and felonious assault.

Contact Jason Hawk at 653-6264 or jhawk@chroniclet.com.