Alleged Max Muscle robbers make court debut

Alleged Max Muscle robbers make court debut »Play Video

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Two men made their court debut Monday for allegedly robbing the owner of the Max Muscle store in southwest Bakersfield at gunpoint.

Max Muscle owner Jeff Ravelle told Eyewitness News last week that he and his girlfriend went into his nutrition and exercise supplement store off Gosford Road and White Lane to get receipts and money. He was in his store for only a few minutes during a late-night period Oct. 30 when two men armed with handguns got into the business through a back door.

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"Next thing I know, there is a gun to the back of my head, telling me to get on the ground," Ravelle said, adding that the other suspect had his girlfriend held captive in the bathroom. "(One of the men) made her strip naked and had a gun to her head. They told us that they were going to kill us like three times."

When one of the suspects was distracted, Ravelle grabbed a handgun he kept at the store for security and shot several times at the suspects, who ran away. The gun jammed, and the would-be robbers were hit, Ravelle said.

The investigation led to 30-year-old Charles Lawton and 19-year-old Dupree Langston. Both were arrested Thursday on suspicion of robbery, conspiracy, participation in a criminal street gang and false imprisonment.

They entered not guilty pleas Monday in Kern County court.

People with information helpful to the ongoing investigation are asked to call Detectives Rick Dossey at (661) 326-3513.