Fayetteville couple's attacker showed 'no mercy,' wife says
Posted June 10
Fayetteville, N.C. — A woman seriously beaten along with her 70-year-old husband inside their Fayetteville home two weeks ago says she hopes whoever hurt them will be caught soon and punished for the crime because she is scared to stay alone.
"I want somebody to help find who did this to us because that man showed us no mercy," Joyce McNeill, 54, told reporters Tuesday. "That man wanted to kill us, and he didn't even act like it bothered him a bit."
Fayetteville police say the man – in his late 20s or early 30s, with his head wrapped in a shirt – made his way into McNeill's home on Slater Avenue early on the morning of May 26 and attacked her and John McNeill with a table leg that had nails sticking out of it.
Despite the beatings, repeated demands for money and threats of killing them, he left with just a few dollars from John McNeill's wallet and some rings pulled from Joyce McNeill's fingers.
"I wish they could give him the worst punishment there is, because for him to be able to beat an old man like he did, he's just got to be a terrible person," she said.
Joyce McNeill said her husband was waiting for his ride to go for a dialysis treatment and that she was in bed when she heard someone come through the screen door.
"He started immediately beating my husband while he was sitting in his recliner, beating him with that stick," she said. "Before I could get out of the bed, he pulled me by my hair and dragged me in the living room and started beating me as well."
Joyce McNeill suffered head trauma, a fractured neck and broken fingers, while her husband had several fractures to his face. He was in serious condition Tuesday afternoon at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, unable to eat or talk.
"He does know me. He knows the family, but he doesn't remember anything about what happened to us," Joyce McNeill said.
She, however, can't forget.
"I'm scared to stay by myself. I can't stay alone," she said. "We had to move out of the house, because I can't bear to go there."
Fayetteville Assistant Police Chief Charles Kimble said the department has devoted extra resources to solving the case but that progress has been slow, partly because of the McNeills' injuries.
The attacker, he said, likely was someone who knew the couple, knew their routine and was under the impression that they had money in the home.
An eyewitness described a man about 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing 200 to 230 pounds leaving the home. He had a dark complexion, was muscular and had a long goatee and thick dreadlocks down to his shoulders.
Anyone with information concerning the attack that could help investigators can call the Fayetteville Police Department at 910-433-1856 or Crime Stoppers at 910-483-8477.
"We're going to find out who did it," Kimble said. "Somebody knows something. There's talk. There's chatter in the community. We know that there's a network of people who talk and we need somebody to call in."