Before Brian Williams "stared down the tube of an RPG," he was, “looking up at a thug’s snub-nosed .38"
At least that's what he says.
In an interview with Esquire magazine in 2005 and New Jersey Monthly in 2008, BriLie claimed he was held up while selling Christmas Trees in Red Bank as a kid..
Williams said a thief drew on him in the 1970s — leaving him “looking up at a thug’s snub-nosed .38 while selling Christmas trees out of the back of a truck.”
Page Six says that Williams told the tough-to-believe story at least four times, claiming he was trying to help a local church when the thief snatched his money on West Front Street and Riverside Avenue.
“That wasn’t a bad job, until a guy came up and stuck a .38-caliber pistol in my face and made me hand over all the money. Merry Christmas, right? Of course, I suddenly appreciated the other jobs I thought I hated,” he told New Jersey Monthly.
But longtime Red Bank residents think it’s a tall tale.
“I would highly doubt he’s telling the truth,” said Danny Murphy, who in the ’70s ran Danny’s restaurant , which was a few blocks from the alleged crime scene. “I find it hard to believe anyone was held up in this area in the ’70s. It was very safe.”
Les Carbone, 85, felt much the same way.
“Don’t listen to Brian Williams,” he said. “He’s going to tell you a lot of things. I doubt he was robbed at gunpoint. I was born in Red Bank, there were no crimes like that. Tell Brian Williams to stop lying.”
It was so safe, kids walked around alone at night back then, other residents said.
“It was never dangerous here,” said Yolanda DeMaria, 93. “It was a very peaceful town, a lovely town. It was a small town with a dress shop and a five-and-dime. No one locked their cars.”