Woman beaten in home invasion makes plea for help to find suspect

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Fayetteville police need the public's help to find the home invasion suspect who burglarized the home of a couple on Memorial Day. (WTVD)

Fayetteville police need the public's help to find the home invasion suspect who burglarized the home of a couple last month.

Joyce McNeill, 54, and her husband, John McNeill, 70, were scheduled to ride a FAST van to John's dialysis appointment on May 26.

Around 5:30 a.m., a man burst through the front door of their Slater Avenue home, demanding money. When the couple didn't have anything to give him, the man beat them with a table leg with screws in it. Joyce McNeill begged the man to please stop beating them.

"That man showed us no mercy. That man wanted to kill us," said Joyce. "I kept saying please stop beating us. We don't have anything to give you please don't beat us no more."

Joyce, pleaded for help Tuesday to find the suspects. Wearing a neck brace and a cast on her left arm, Joyce recounted that terrible morning of horror.

"We didn't have no money. He broke my fingers taking rings off that I had gotten from my mom," said Joyce. "It didn't even seem like it bothered him a bit swinging that stick with the nails on the end of it. He didn't care, busted my head open. He busted my husband's -- he had eight fractures in his face and a hematoma in his head as high as my hair."

Police believe the attacker knew the couple, and took advantage of them.

"We are still talking to people, every day," said Assistant Police Chief Chuck Kimball. "We are knocking on doors, and we are getting some information but we need more."

Police and Joyce are now begging for the community's help to identify and arrest the attacker.

"I wish they could give him the worst punishment there is because he beat an old man like he did," said Joyce. "He has got to be a terrible person. It didn't bother him a bit what he did to us."

Detectives say they are looking for a:
  • Black male

  • Late 20's to early 30's

  • 5'10" in height

  • 200 to 220 pounds

  • Muscular build

  • Thick dreadlocks, that are just past shoulder length

  • Long goatee

Police say a person matching that description was seen leaving the Slater Avenue area shortly after the incident.

Anyone with information concerning the case is asked to call the Fayetteville Police Department at (910) 433-1856 or Crimestoppers at (910) 483-TIPS (8477).

Meanwhile, John McNeill remains in the intensive care unit at UNC hospitals in Chapel Hill. Joyce said there's been a downturn in her husband's condition. He now has pneumonia and is on a ventilator.

Joyce is desperate to be at his bedside, but says she can't find anyone to drive her to Chapel Hill and back.

The McNeills have moved out of the home where they were attacked to an undisclosed location where Joyce feels safer.

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