Local News

Shooting victim sues Cary Crossroads Plaza

Posted February 11, 2010 2:47 p.m. EST
Updated February 12, 2010 8:02 a.m. EST

— A HoneyBaked Ham employee who was shot during an attempted robbery last April has sued Cary Crossroads Plaza, alleging that the shopping center has inadequate security measures.

Richard Huether was closing the HoneyBaked Ham store in Crossroads Plaza on April 11, 2009, when, police say, a gunman approached him, tried to rob him and shot him in the stomach.

Huether filed suit last Friday against Ronus Properties LLC, which manages Crossroads Plaza, and its operation manager, Anthony Boyd

"Defendants failed to use ordinary care in protecting lawful visitors," the suit reads. "As a result of the defendants' negligence in their failure to provide adequate security, Rich Huether was shot and injured."

Huether said that Crossroads didn't have security measures to prevent the shooting and doesn't have any measures to prevent one from happening again.

"I don't want anyone else to experience what my wife and I and my son and my family has had to experience," he said.

A lawyer for Ronus Properties, Rod Petty, said the company plans to vigorously defend against the suit and is filing a legal response.

The suit says that Crossroads didn't have security patrols or surveillance cameras in the area where Huether was shot. That lack, the suit claims, violated industry standards. Most malls, for instance, have a security presence.

The suit also says that despite 327 calls for police service in two years prior to the shooting, Crossroads had failed to warn employees of the danger.

"Is anybody looking after the people here?" Huether said. "The people just have to look after themselves?"

The North Carolina Departments of Labor and Insurance both said they did not know of a law or regulation requiring private businesses to provide security.

If there isn't such a law, Huether said, lawmakers should consider creating measures to require places like Crossroads to protect visitors.

"Presence is what works," he said. "Surveillance cameras, something."

Huether is seeking at least $10,000 for physical pain, permanent injuries, emotional suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, medical expenses, lost wages, diminished future earning capacity and attorneys' fees.

No one has been charged in the shooting. Police described the suspect as a white man between 16 to 25 years old, wearing a gray hooded jacket, white and green ski hat, blue jeans and multi-colored shoes.

Anyone with information about the shooting should call the Cary Police Department at 919-469-4016 or Crime Stoppers at 919-226-2745.