Local News

Fayetteville couple's attacker showed 'no mercy,' wife says

Posted June 10, 2014

— 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."


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Hecate Jun 12, 2014

    Any "man" that would break into someone's home and beat up anyone... especially elderly, defenseless people is a miserable piece of humanity ... and deserves the same treatment and compassion that he showed his victims.

  • farm Jun 11, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Heartless speculation

  • WralCensorsAreBias Jun 11, 2014

    I wonder how much more Fayetteville will take before they have enough and take their streets back?

  • Anita Woody Jun 11, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Didn't work so well for the carry conceal hero last week. These poor people probably would be dead now if they had had a gun. Shot by their own gun. I hope they both recover fully and the assailant is caught and spends a long time in jail.

  • Mariann Byknish Jun 11, 2014
    user avatar

    Want to carry concealed and in the open. Time to take control as should ALL homeowners.

  • rougemontredneck Jun 11, 2014

    someone please give this lady a gun and a german shepard and the peace of mind to overcome the acts of that horrible person. There is just no excuse for what he has done and shame and bad karma will follow him all the days of his life until he is caught and owns up to his actions. This just makes me sick to my stomach!!!!!

  • BP Jun 11, 2014

    So sad that they, like other victims of past crimes, are hurt or lose their life for a few bucks. My prayers are with her and her husband and that they catch this coward.

  • Greg Boop Jun 11, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Let me also say that I hope John and Joyce McNeill heal quickly from the injuries they suffered during this terrible incident.

  • rocket Jun 11, 2014

    View quoted thread

    You don't need a license to get a gun unless you want to carry concealed.

  • Mariann Byknish Jun 11, 2014
    user avatar

    This perp needs to be found and put in the ground 6 foot under! NO SYMPATHY . Anymore I don;t believe in the "justice" system we have going on. Criminals get treated well in prison while the victims are scared for life! It is time I look into getting licensed to get a gun .