Authorities said a man who witnessed an armed robbery chased the suspect down and ran him over early Tuesday morning.
Andrew Michael Davis, 22, has pending warrants for felony robbery with a dangerous weapon, larceny of a firearm and possession of a stolen firearm, according to a release from Burke County Sheriff Steve Whisenant.
Whisenant told reporters that deputies received a 911 call at around 1 a.m. about an armed robbery at the Shop and Save on N.C. 18/U.S. 64 near Hartland Road. While deputies were in route, they were told a suspect was lying in a ditch on Pax Hill Road near the store.
Sanu Silwal, the store owner, told reporters that a customer was inside the store when the robbery happened and that his friend, who waited outside, chased the robber down and ran him over with his truck.
“A man without a shirt on came behind the corner with a gun,” Silwal said.
Silwal said the man demanded all of the store’s money, and when the store manager complied, he asked for a carton of cigarettes.
“[The manager] gave the carton of cigarettes and [the robber] left,” Silwal said. “The man waiting in the … truck … he pulled out, he chased the man … he hit him.”
Silwal said Davis was a regular customer.
“We’ve never been rude with a customer, we want to help people,” Silwal said. “If he didn’t have money, if he wanted food, I would love to give him food.”
Instead of running suspects over, Whisenant said he recommends witnesses follow suspects if it is safe to do so, and get license plate numbers or descriptions. He also said callers can stay on the phone with 911 dispatchers until a deputy arrives.
“It’s not recommended [to run someone over], but we were happy that a customer intervened and helped us,” Whisenant said. “We are investigating that situation because the customer was not there when we arrived.”
Whisenant said police will interview the customer and turn the case over to the district attorney’s office to decide whether or not to press charges.
This isn’t the first time Silwal has been robbed.
“We work hard,” Silwal said. “We work seven days, trying to make a living ... trying to do the best with what we can.”
He said there are plenty of jobs out there for people who need them.
“People don’t want to work, they want easy money like he did last night,” Silwal said. “That’s wrong.”
Davis had serious but not life-threatening injuries, Whisenant said. Burke County EMS transported him to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte and surgery is expected. Mecklenburg County d eputies are standing by with Davis, who will be served with the warrants once he is released from the hospital.
Chrissy Murphy is a staff writer and can be reached at email@example.com or at 828-432-8941. Follow @cmurphyMNH on Twitter.