Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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June 21, 2014

70-year-old stops armed man

GREEN VALLEY — A 70-year-old Mercer County man who was confronted by an armed robber Friday morning as he opened his Airport Road business managed to force his 20-something assailant out the door empty handed, according to Mercer County sheriff’s deputies.

At about 9 a.m., a white, dark-haired male subject, approximately 5-foot, 7-inches tall, with a slender build, weighing an estimated 140-150 pounds entered Ceres Gear & Machine shop on Mowles Chapel Road, off Airport Road in Brushfork, according to Deputy J.D. Ellison of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department. He said the suspect’s face was covered during the incident.

“The suspect came in and confronted the business owner,” Ellison said. “The suspect was armed with a handgun and the business owner was sitting at his desk. The business owner stood up and grabbed the suspect’s arm, but the assailant was able to hit the business owner several times on the head, causing injuries. The attacker did not discharge his weapon.”

Ellison said that as the gunman was striking the business owner on the head, the older man was able to push his attacker out of the door, and to close it before the younger man could gain re-entry. “The business owner had to be taken to a local hospital where he was treated for his injuries,” Ellison said. “He was back at work Friday afternoon.”

After responding and securing the scene, deputies Ellison, E.P. Parks and D.A. Furches as well as Mercer County Sheriff D.B. “Don” Meadows, initiated a search for the subject on the roads, in businesses and in wooded areas of the Brushfork and Bluewell area. “We also had assistance from the West Virginia State Police, the Matoaka and Bramwell police departments and the Bluefield City Police Department,” Ellison said.

Law enforcement officers searched the area through most of the day. “The search is ongoing,” Ellison said. He added that the case is still under investigation. Ellison did not release the name of the business owner.

— Contact Bill Archer at

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