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Utah volunteers mugged in Dominican Republic

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (ABC 4 News) - A group of volunteer doctors, dentists and assistants from Utah were held at gunpoint in the Dominican Republic as they were forced to hand over their valuables and cash.
"He turned around and cocked the gun and then had it pointed at my nephew," -Scott Wall
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (ABC 4 News) - A group of volunteer doctors, dentists and assistants from Utah were held at gunpoint in the Dominican Republic as they were forced to hand over their valuables and cash. 

They were serving a humanitarian trip in the Country as part of the G3 Foundation.

Members of the group shared the harrowing experience moments after they stepped of their passenger jet at the Salt Lake International Airport.

They say one of the muggers stuck a gun to the volunteers heads and he threatened to pull the trigger.

"It was a little surreal," said Dr. Brandon Robinson who works as a general dentist.

"He turned around and cocked the gun and then had it pointed at my nephew," said Scott Wall who works as a pediatric dentist.

"It went fast and really slow at the same time," said volunteer Jason Stevenson.

There were two muggings January 21 seconds and several yards apart near the Santo Domingo Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Temple.

"We weren't really sure what was happening," said Robinson.

It was Monday and dark around 8:00 p.m. during the eight day trip. Two groups walked separately to see the temple grounds. The groups usually walk with guards, but were feeling safe this night.

"Happened almost before you could process what really just happened," said Wall.

Two men on a moped pulled up to both groups. 

"We were just trying to stand our ground. Hey we don't want any trouble," Robinson said.

"Just shook my head at him. No you're not getting anything," Stevenson said.

"He pointed the gun at a doctor's face and told him if you don't give us anything I will kill you," said Robinson.

"I want your rings and your money or I'm going to kill you and you so at that point we didn't want to gamble anymore," said Stevenson.

One man surrendered a $3,000 watch and $3,000 camera. Others handed over money. Jason Stevenson lost his wedding ring, but says a near death experience changes perspective. "It's replaceable. People aren't replaceable," he continued.

Despite this horrible experience the group marched forward to serve for another four days and many more humanitarian trips are planned to the Dominican Republic.

"It's not going to change anything. We'll continue to go down there and do what we love to do," Robinson said.

This story made national news in the Dominican Republic. It generated an outpouring of love and support for the victims, especially because they were volunteering their time to help the poor.






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