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Roanoke Rapids clerk saves co-worker from boyfriend's attack

Posted December 5, 2012

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— A convenience store clerk in Roanoke Rapids saved the life of a friend and colleague this week, and may have saved her unborn child as well, authorities say.

Crystal Lockley, 24, had just arrived Monday to start her shift at the New Dixie Mart on U.S. Highway 158. She texted her boyfriend that she wanted to end their relationship, and he responded by coming to the store to attack her, authorities said.

Anthony Jermaine Gilchrist jumped on Lockley, who is two months pregnant with his child, and stabbed her eight times before another clerk jumped in.

"He didn't just stop upon her initial contact with him. They were in absolute combat," said Maj. Bruce Temple of the Halifax County Sheriff's Office.

Jennifer Ruffin tried to tackle Gilchrist and ended up with a cut on her arm for the trouble.

Roanoke Rapids clerk saves co-worker from boyfriend's attack Roanoke Rapids clerk saves co-worker from boyfriend's attack

"Ms. Ruffin, in our eyes, is an absolute hero," Temple said, noting that both Lockley and her child might have died had she not intervened.

Deputies tracked Gilchrist to a gas station in Virginia where he had stopped to buy a map. They charged him with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon with the intent to kill and battery of an unborn child, a law that's been on the books in North Carolina for about a year.

"This is the first case we've had to incorporate that new law," Temple said. The charge is a misdemeanor, but if the unborn child dies or is born with a defect that can be linked to the attack, it can be increased to a felony.

Gilchrist, 22, of 1025 Mt. Carmel Road in Margarettsville, was jailed in Halifax County without bond. Lockley was recovering in a hospital.

34 Comments

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  • gottablackgoddess2k12 Dec 10, 7:19 p.m.

    Thx God she survived this attack and thank God her co-worker intervened. So many ppl won't get involved for fear of their own safety but she stepped outside of herself and helped! She is a hero. Let that scum get the time he deserves....he stabbed this woman 8 times and ppl have the audacity 2 blame the victim. No one is perfect and everyone has made a poor choice. Stop judging situations you've never been it!

  • carrboroyouth Dec 6, 1:07 p.m.

    "Carrboy, we know this much about "the couple's" past: she either didn't bother to get to know him or she's the same trash that he is, because she spread her legs for him. Getting knocked up and stabbed by the same guy doesn't make her a saint. It makes her part of the problem. And we need to stop romanticizing this carp." -storcheim

    How do you know this was consensual sexual relationship? I am not trying to romanticize or make her a saint but I am appalled at the victim-blaming on this board. Apparently it's all her fault that she has been stabbed eight times??

    At least three other posts say "women need to stop hanging with men like this." How about "men need to stop killing their wives and girlfriends?" -- this is the fourth DV murder case in the news just this week.

    I know people who have been in violent relationships. The psychology of it all is not so simple as so many on this forum believe.

  • mybusinesstoday Dec 6, 12:30 p.m.

    @storchheim and @goalfinger belong together...you both act like this is a "victimless" crime. This woman, no matter her history, did not deserve to be brutalized! Obviously she had concerns about her well being when she broke up via a text instead of in person! What would you think if she had broken up in person? His rage would have been greater and we would be talking about the death of this young woman and her unborn child.

    Calling her "trash"...wow, that is low and disgusting. I am in awe at your audacity to say such ignorant words.

  • Fireflies Rock Dec 6, 10:58 a.m.

    Kudos to Jennifer who put her own life in danger by stepping up and doing the right thing. She is a true hero and should be very proud of herself! It must have been terribly frightening and obviously dangerous; we need more people like her, who react to a threat and care about others.

  • mybusinesstoday Dec 6, 10:49 a.m.

    @goalfinger...I bet you blame women that are raped because they wear a short skirt and smiled... I'm going to assume you are short on sense due to your comment...see how that works?

  • storchheim Dec 6, 10:39 a.m.

    "eyesofgreen - something tells me that she was right to leave him! Would you want the father of your child to be someone capable of STABBING a loved one? You don't know this couple's past" carrbr.

    Carrboy, we know this much about "the couple's" past: she either didn't bother to get to know him or she's the same trash that he is, because she spread her legs for him. Getting knocked up and stabbed by the same guy doesn't make her a saint. It makes her part of the problem. And we need to stop romanticizing this carp.

  • ndadszucs Dec 6, 10:13 a.m.

    A lot of victim blaming in this thread. Way to go, NC.

    Kudos, Ms. Heroine.
    Good thoughts to the harmed woman and her child.

  • Rebelyell55 Dec 6, 9:03 a.m.

    She is a hero, and he is a loser coward. Sending a Dear John text was most likely her safest option.

  • NC Reader Dec 6, 8:09 a.m.

    There are more posts on here about how women shouldn't have loser/criminal boyfriends than there are about the point of the story: Jennifer Ruffin came to the defense of another woman by attacking the criminal who was stabbing her. Ms. Ruffin is an incredibly brave person to defend her co-worker against a vicious man with a knife. Not a lot of people, men or women, would have done what she did. She is a hero.

  • Dynol Yn Cael Ei Dec 5, 6:49 p.m.

    KUDOS to her!!!

    Praying for the mother and child, and that the book is thrown at the beast who attacked her.

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