ROCKINGHAM — Josh Warden of Rockingham had just visited the Cashpoint at the Aiport Road IGA on Friday, when a man bear-hugged him from behind and tried to drag him to a car.
There, Warden said, a female accomplice waited to relieve him of his money.
“I guess I look like an easy mark,” Warden said dryly after the incident.
During the fight, which a passerby described as a “sloppy brawl,” Warden attempted to gouge his attacker’s eyes.
In return, Warden said, the man bit his finger, breaking the skin.
Using a knife with a window-breaker end on it, Warden said, he hit the man on the back of the head and escaped — but not before the pair could steal $180 in cash.
Warden also lost the knife to his attackers.
Warden mourned the loss of the knife, which he said was priceless because his wife gave it to him for his first Father’s Day.
During the scuffle, Warden suffered a bruised and cut cheek, a bloody lip, a bit of road rash and a divot in his finger.
He said the attackers didn’t appear to be armed, but as soon as the man pushed him up against his car door, “I knew it was on.”
A short while later, Richmond County sheriff’s deputies picked up David Michael Heaton, 40, of Hamlet and Sarah Kay Hunt, 30, of Hoffman as suspects in the robbery. The pair were stopped in a vehicle Warden had described to law enforcement, the Sheriff’s Office said — and one of them tried to run.
Heaton and Hunt each was charged with common-law robbery, attempted kidnapping and assault.
Both were taken to the Richmond County Jail in lieu of secured bonds — $100,000 for Heaton and $101,000 for Hunt.
Because Hunt had an outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court on a previous common-law robbery charge, her bond was $1,000 higher, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Court dates for both were not available Friday.
Heaton has five previous convictions for felony charges relating to stealing, according to records with the N.C. Department of Public Safety. In December 2009, he was convicted on two counts of felony breaking and entering and one count of larceny from a person. In March 2010, he was convicted of two more felony counts of larceny from a person. He served a total of a year and four months in prison, records show.
In July 1994, he also was convicted of a misdemeanor forgery charge, for which he was sentenced to probation.
Hunt served two months in prison as the result of an October 2007 conviction for a misdemeanor count of possessing stolen goods, records show. In September 2017, she was convicted of one felony count of common-law robbery, for which she was sentenced to parole.
Reach Gavin Stone at 910-817-2674 or [email protected]