A 22-year-old man tried to sell three women marijuana and pay their way into the Carousel Lounge before robbing them at gunpoint outside of the club, according to testimony Tuesday morning in Columbus Recorder’s Court.
Rubin Earnest Burts III of Columbus, who was identified as the gunman in the early Saturday incident, pleaded not guilty to armed robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and theft by receiving stolen property. He was ordered without bond held in the Muscogee County Jail.
Judge Julius Hunter bound the case over to Superior Court.
Columbus Police Officer Eric Page said he was called to the adult entertainment club at 2:17 a.m. Saturday to investigate an ongoing armed robbery.
He spoke to three women who reported being robbed by a black man wearing a black hoodie, dark blue jeans and black and white sneakers. They said he approached them at the southwest corner of the business, aimed a revolver at their heads and told them to “give it up.”
One of the victims pleaded with the suspect and told him she didn’t have anything. That’s when the gunman allegedly struck him in the upper lip with the gun and took her black Steve Madden purse. He also stole house and car keys, driver’s licenses, cellphones, phone case, $35 in cash, cigarettes and more before fleeing in a dark SUV, according to police.
The victims said he was the same man who tried to sell them marijuana and offered to pay their way into the club earlier that morning.
Page said he was on the scene investigating the incident when one of the women spotted the suspect standing by a dark green Jeep Cherokee parked west of Foxes Cinema at 3009 Victory Drive.
Police approached the man later identified as Burts, and the suspect allegedly began walking away. He was ordered to stop and put his hands up, but authorities said he didn’t comply.
“He began fumbling through his pockets and began walking back toward the green Jeep Cherokee,” Page testified. “He stopped right behind a silver Dodge Charger that was parked two spaces over. He bent down, made a tossing motion with his hands and appeared to throw a metal object to the ground.”
Officials arrested him on the scene at 2:45 a.m. Officials found a .22 caliber revolver under the Dodge Charger that had been reported stolen. They also located most of the women’s stolen property in Burts’ possession, Page testified.
Burts didn’t testify in court.