Memphis/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on April 17, 2024
Memphis Man Charged in Attempted Robbery Using 5-Foot Snake as Coercive ToolSource: Google Street View

A Memphis man was nabbed by police for trying to rob a gas station with an unusual accomplice: a 5-foot snake. Reginald Cook, 26, has been hit with two counts of attempted aggravated robbery after his bizarre crime spree early Tuesday morning, WREG reports.

Authorities state that Cook first entered the Shell convenience store on Elvis Presley Boulevard at around 2 a.m. and made a purchase. He then returned half an hour later, demanded cash, and gestured inside his clothing as if he had a weapon. Cook, however, beat a retreat once the cashier refused his demands. According to Action News 5, which got the details from an affidavit, Cook's third attempt was the most outlandish, returning to the store with a live snake in tow and demanding money again.

Surveillance footage showed Cook aggressively shouting, "Give me the damn money," while the cashier, mistaking Cook's movements towards his backpack for an armed threat, drew his firearm in self-defense. No injuries occurred, and the register remained intact, as the cash was not taken.

Reginald Cook was taken into custody just minutes after his snake-wielding robbery attempt. Memphis Police found only a railroad spike and rock in his backpack, no firearms. The fate of the snake, as WLBT notes, remains unclear.

In an act of contrition, Cook's family visited the Shell store the next day to apologize for his actions, offering to cover any damages, the store owner disclosed. Cook's bond is currently set at $4,000 as he awaits court proceedings for his unconventional attempt at armed robbery.