ELEVATION — A Johnston County couple is recovering from a harrowing experience Saturday night -- they were attacked and robbed in their home. A suspect is already in custody.
Charles Jernigan and his wife Lou were getting ready for bed when the attack occurred.
Officers say Patrick Richardson parked his car out of sight near a neighboring fence, then walked a few hundred yards across the Jernigan property.
He then allegedly tied up the Jernigans with phone cord and duct tape, put a sheet over them, beat them and robbed them.
The attack occurred about 11:30 p.m.
"You can imagine sitting in your home peacefully watching television and all of a sudden your door is busted in and someone is assaulting you," said Maj. Buck Pipkin of the Johnston County Sheriff's Office.
Officers were able to arrest Richardson due to his mismatched tires, which were caked with fresh mud. Tire tracks were found near the crime scene, and then an officer on patrol spotted a vehicle with a similar wheelbase and fresh mud on the tires at a Days Inn motel near Benson.
The officer waited for the driver of the vehicle to show up. The deputy recognized Richardson from the description provided by the Jernigans. According to investigators, Richardson confessed immediately.
He was allegedly found with cash, guns, jewelry and other property of the Jernigans in his possession.
A neighbor, Roger Williams, has eight video cameras on his property. One of them may have caught Richardson on tape.
The Jernigans were treated and released from WakeMed. They are recovering at their daughter's home.
Richardson is in Johnston County jail, with no bail set. He is charged with burglary, attempted murder and kidnapping.