A Cleveland sixth-grader was held up at gunpoint Tuesday morning at an East Side bus stop by a man who demanded his lunch money.

"It's an act of serious desperation," said Cleveland police spokesman Lt. Wayne Drummond. "How much money can you expect to get from an 11-year-old kid on his way to school?"

Gregory Darby had $2 in his pants pocket but said he was so scared, he forgot.

Gregory, a student at Willson Middle School, was confronted as he waited alone at Wade Park Avenue and East 88th Street for a bus to take him the 1.7 miles he otherwise would have to walk to school.

His mother, Chery Darby, said her son takes the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority bus to school because he lives 3/10ths of a mile too close to Willson to ride the school bus and because her 1992 Aerostar van is too unreliable.

If he walks, he crosses vacant lots and passes boarded-up homes and barred stores.

The boy described the gunman to police as a light-skinned black man, about 6 feet 2, 160 pounds, with an Afro and wearing a black-hooded sweatshirt and dark pants.

Gregory said the man seized him by the left arm.

"Where do you live?" he asked.

Gregory fibbed. "On 88th."

The man then pointed the gun: "Give me all your lunch money!"

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