Suspect accused of brandishing a handgun, demanding money

A teenager was arrested on attempted armed robbery charges Wednesday night after police say he tried to rob a man, then returned to the scene of the crime.

Taft Police Sgt. Shad Swanson said officers received a report of an attempted armed robbery in the area of Sixth Street and Finley Drive just before 10 p.m.

The victim told officers he was approached by a male in a white minivan who brandished a handgun and demanded money.

The victim fled to the nearby 7-11 and called 911.

officers responded to the scene and some, along with Kern County Sheriff's deputies, searched the area for the suspect.

While the victim was being interviewed, Swanson said, a deputy saw a white minivan driving on Sixth street and began following it.
As it drove past the victim, he told officers it was “very similar” to the suspect's vehicle.

The deputy made a traffic stop a short distance away, and the victim identified the driver as the man who tried to rob him, Swanson said.

Derek Fale Atkisson, 19, was arrested and charged with attempted armed robbery.

No weapon was found, Swanson said.

He is being held in the Kern County Sheriff's central receiving facility on $15,000 bail.

He was arraigned Thursday and is due back in court for a hearing on March 26.