ANTIOCH, Tenn. (WKRN) — After losing $4,000 and being left with physical and mental scars, the Buddhist monk attacked and robbed early Sunday morning is sharing his story of struggle.
“Every time I’m talking about it happened, I feel, you know, the same thing I feel the day it happened, but I’m not scared,” said Nom Lengslvath.
Lengslvath, who also lives at the Wat Lao Buddhist Temple on Old Hickory Boulevard, said he heard a knock at the door around 9 a.m. and something compelled him to crack it open. He said he saw a group of people, including one woman holding a small child, who she claimed was sick and needed help.
Lengslvath said before he could think, they forced the door open, knocking him down. He said two of the women searched the temple for about five minutes before leaving with money.
“The day it happened, it’s my fault. I opened the door and I don’t know what’s going on that day that made me open the door,” said Lengslvath.
Outside surveillance video shows the monk attempting to grab a satchel from one of the women in an effort to prevent her from leaving. Investigators said she broke free and the group left in a silver Toyota van.
Lengslvath said his phone was broken, so he went to a neighbor’s house to ask for help, but they weren’t home. Metro police said the case wasn’t reported to them until Tuesday.
Lengslvath said similar cases with similar suspects are popping up across the country.
“I want the cop to catch them and take them to jail,” said Lengslvath.
Temple attendees News 2 spoke with said they hope other monks remain aware and cautious as investigations continue.
The silver van that fled the scene has since been recovered. It was found abandoned on Battle Ridge Lane in Nolensville. It displayed a California temporary tag.
The van has been impounded.
The robbers have still not been identified.
Anyone recognizing the robbers is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463.