Local News

Injured Store Clerk Was Putting Himself Through College, Family Says

Posted October 4, 2005

— A suspect who police believe severely injured a convenience store clerk late Friday night turned himself in to police Tuesday afternoon. Meanwhile, the victim's family members was looking for answers about what happened.

Francis Chege, 30, was listed in critical condition Tuesday evening at WakeMed, where he was in intensive care suffering from a severe head injury.

Surveillance video from the Hand-Dee Hugo convenience store on South New Hope Road shows four assailants going in and out of the store where Chege worked. One of the assailants, 19-year-old Barry Terrance Cross, turned himself in to police Tuesday afternoon, and he has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury. Police said no other charges or arrests were expected in the case at this time.

Police said Cross was one of the males shown on the surveillance video.

What the video does not show, however, is exactly what happened to Chege in the parking lot -- likely a severe beating that put the Kenya native in the hospital, police say.

"It's very sad, emotional," said Harrison Waithaka, Chege's cousin. "We are like 10,000 miles from home. It's very tough for us."

Chege, who family members say is a hardworking person, was working at the convenience store to put himself through college.

Tapes from 911 reveal that Chege called from the store Friday night to report that someone underage was trying to buy beer. The next 911 call came from a customer who was trying to get help after she found Chege on the ground.

"We love him very much and hopefully he can come out of the coma and talk for himself," Waithaka said.

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