Local News

War Veteran Attacked After Suspects Rob Restaurant

Posted August 1, 2002

— It is a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Police think a teenager beat an elderly man behind a Subway restaurant in Fayetteville.

Marvin Wells' daughter, Kim Sealey, met with investigators where police say her dad was pistol-whipped Wednesday night. Wells is listed in critical condition with a massive skull fracture.

"He was [in the] special forces airborne, and in the armed services for 30 years. He survived three wars, and for his life to be in jeopardy over some 17-year-old punk right now is astounding to me," she said.

Police said two men held up a Subway store on Cliffdale roads just a few doors down from where Wells had just finished teaching a class. They say 17-year-old Michael Ruffin ran out the back of the restaurant and ran into Wells as he was walking to his car and beat him.

"Mr. Wells was unaware the robbery had taken place. It just so happens the suspect came upon Mr. Wells," said. Sgt. Alex Thompson of the Fayetteville Police Department.

Minutes later, police arrested Ruffin in a nearby neighborhood. They are still looking for the second suspect. The Subway restaurant was closed Thursday as police dogs searched the area for more evidence.

People like Dave Hill who know Wells said at the age of 75, he is still constantly on the go. Wells is a Purple Heart recipient who lives life to its fullest, according to friends.

"[He] kept himself in good shape. I'm astounded that someone would do something like this. They're just doing it to inflict pain on someone else," Hill said.

The owner of the Subway said he was pistol-whipped during a robbery several years ago. Rudy Honeycutt said he grabbed his shotgun when the suspects left the building and went out back, but he could not get to Wells in time to prevent the beating.


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