Boys’ lemonade stand robbed at gunpoint, what follows is more stunning


Two 13-year-old boys running a lemonade stand in Illinois were robbed at gunpoint by two older teens. The teens took the boys’ cashbox that contained under $30.

Jude and Tristan were selling lemonade in Peoria on August 7 when they were approached by the older teens, one who was holding a gun, said Officer Amy Dotson of the Peoria Police Department.

The youths stole their cash box, which contained around $30, and fled on foot.

No arrests have been made.

“The boys were just shocked, they couldn’t process what was happening until it was over,” Nathan Peterson, Jude’s father, told CNN. “I got a call from police saying, ”Hey, your kids are OK, but they just got robbed.’ I almost blacked out, I was just so scared I was trying to get there as fast as possible.”

When Jude’s father rushed to the scene, he was shocked by what he saw.

Police officers had surrounded the lemonade stand, buying cups of lemonade and “paying maybe $20 each for it,” trying to make the kids feel safe again, he said.

“I was relieved,” Peterson said. “They created a very protective environment for the boys. This situation could have ended so badly, but somehow they helped turn what could have been a horrible experience into something beautiful.”

As news of the incident spread through Peoria, neighbors, friends, and even strangers began donating money to the boys to encourage them not to give up. So far, more than $3,500 has been raised through Facebook fundraisers and PayPal donations, according to Peterson.


On Tuesday, just four days after the robbery, Jude and Tristan reopened their stand. Dozens of people came by, buying lemonade and sharing kind words. But they weren’t the only ones to make an appearance.

A line of Peoria police vehicles arriving at the lemonade stand when it reopened after the robbery.

“A police armadillo truck (a modified armored car) followed by about 15 police cars all with their lights on paraded in front of their stand and parked on the side street. I’m getting teary-eyed just talking about it,” Peterson said.

“The officers and police chief got out of their cars and talked to the boys and told them how much they supported them. They gave them a donation and took turns buying lemonade. It just made them feel so safe and encouraged.”

The Peoria Police Department posted a video on Facebook showing police cars lining up the street and officers purchasing cups of lemonade from the boys.

After the robbery, Peterson said he was willing to do “whatever it took” to protect his son and even considered moving to another city. But the support they received from the community reassured him that his family was right where they should be.

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