Robbery suspects hit victim with car

CARY "I thought at first it was an accident - that somebody lost control of their car and hit me," recalled Alexander Paul, Jr.

It happened at a Wachovia branch on High House Road near Cary Parkway just after noon on Monday.

Police said as Paul crossed the bank parking lot, the robbers used a stolen car they were in as a weapon.

"They hit the individual with the vehicle, knocked him to the ground," Cary Police Department Captain Kenneth Williams said. "The passenger of the suspect's vehicle got out, grabbed the bank deposit bag."

Paul says after they hit him, the men got out of the car and ran up to him.

"'Sir, are you hurt? Are you hurt, sir?' And then he said it twice. And by the time he said it twice he was next to me and picked up the two money bags, got back in the car and drove off," Paul recalled.

It was then that Paul realized he'd been robbed. The men had taken almost a thousand dollars Paul was depositing from collections at Bethel Baptist in Cary. About $100 more in change came from children in the vacation bible school.

Paul was taken to the hospital, but his injuries were not life-threatening.

Police said the men then dumped the stolen car at apartments just around the corner from the bank and jumped in a Lexus.

"I saw the Lexus vehicle come out, passed a stopped car their tires screaming, smoke, and pulled out into the middle of the intersection," eyewitness Jimmy Barefoot said. "Oncoming traffic had to stop and then, seconds later the motorcycle cop and the two police cruisers in pursuit."

Witnesses said the robbers tried to ditch police by cutting through a shopping center.

"I saw one of the officers go back through the parking lot and around behind the building," Barefoot said.

The suspects later clipped another car and crashed the Lexus on Chapel Hill Road near Weston Parkway as police chased them west on Highway 54.

One of the robbers was ejected from the car. Both suspects were taken to the hospital, but their injuries are not life-threatening.

Shawn McRae, 35, of Durham has been charged with numerous felonies including armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon.

His passenger is still hospitalized and has not yet been charged.

And the church deacon who's says he's lucky to have only cuts and bruises, well, the suspects are on his mind.

"I'm praying for those two men - for their salvation. Maybe out of this, if they come to know the Lord while they're in prison. That would be great," he said.

Paul says while he believes in forgiveness, he also believes in justice.

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