Quick thinking and a baseball bat put an end to a robber’s intentions against a store in McDuffie County on Sunday.
McDuffie County Sheriff Logan Marshall said Tuesday that a 22-year-old Wrens man entered the Happy Valley store at 4211 Wrens Highway in Thomson about 4:15 p.m. Sunday.
“A black male came to the counter and asked to purchase a canned soda,” Marshall said. “The cashier opened the drawer for the transaction, and the offender grabbed money out of the cash drawer.”
The sheriff said while the man was doing that, he reached under his shirt at the waistband.
The clerk closed the cash drawer on the offender’s hand, he said.
“After that, the offender was able to just grab the whole cash register from the counter,” Marshall said.
At this point, the clerk got a small baseball bat from the counter area and began swinging at the offender, Marshall said.
“The offender at that time dropped the cash drawer and fled the store. 911 was called at that time by the clerk,” he said.
“After that was done, a BOLO (Be On the Look Out) was put out by 911 describing the vehicle and the tag. A tag number was given at that time,” Marshall said.
The suspect was stopped in Jefferson County by Jefferson County deputies and Wrens police officers.
Wrens Police Chief Garry McCord said Monday when the call went out on the radio, Wrens police officers Cpl. Eddie Gibbons and Officer John Wasson responded to the call.
“They went towards Highway 17 and waited for the suspect vehicle,” he said. “Once the suspect vehicle showed up, they did a traffic stop.”
McCord said the driver was a 16-year-old juvenile, whose name has not been released because of his age.
The chief said officers began talking to the two men who were in the vehicle.
Once they got the driver out and handcuffed him, they attempted to take the passenger into custody.
Officers noticed the passenger, identified as 22-year-old Terrence Antoine Beasley of Wrens, kept reaching beneath the seat, McCord said.
“When the officers noticed he kept reaching beneath the seat, they drew their pistols and told him to get out of the vehicle,” he said.
“They got him out, but when they attempted to handcuff him, he struck one of the officers to get away and took off toward the tree line.
“He got to the tree line and because of his sagging pants, he tripped and fell down. Officers instructed him to stay down, roll over onto his stomach and put his hands behind his back. He failed to comply. He was Tasered. After he was Tasered, he was handcuffed and turned over to McDuffie County who had arrived on the scene by that time,” the chief said.
Marshall said a pistol was located beneath the seat where Beasley had been reaching. The sheriff said during his interview he did not know whether the pistol was loaded.
“It makes no difference whether it was loaded or not,” he said. “We assume it’s loaded.”
McDuffie County has charged both men with armed robbery, Marshall said. McCord said charges against the adult are pending.
Marshall said deputies from his office came to Wrens and transported the men back to McDuffie County.
“Some good work by Jefferson County being aware of the BOLO and stopping the vehicle. We appreciate that,” the sheriff said.