Police place reward on Bessemer City assailant

by: Ken Lemon Updated:

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BESSEMER CITY, N.C. —

Police are desperate to arrest a man accused of terrorizing two Bessemer City families days apart and are offering a $1,000 reward.

The first attack happened Friday morning on East Washington Avenue.

Police believe the same man busted into a family's home Sunday night five blocks away.

Eyewitness News reporter Ken Lemon found out one of the attacks happened in front of an 8-year-old child.

That boy was the first to see the masked man in his home and gave the robber some of his own money but it wasn't enough.

Police are worried because the man is getting more violent with each attack.

Eight-year-old Kobe Black heard the back door open and thought his cat went outside. He stepped around the corner and saw the masked man with a gun standing in his home.

"He just looked at me," the boy said.

His father went to the door and was immediately knocked down and pistol-whipped.

"He just started stumping my face into the ground," the father said.

Kobe Black quickly gave the man the $50 he had saved to buy his mother a Christmas gift.

"I just wanted him to leave," he said.

But he wouldn't leave even after stealing cash from Kobe Black's father, mother and grandfather.

The robber got angrier.

"We was like 'are you serious?'" said Andrea Foster, one of the victims.

He started kicking Kobe Black's father again and told the family he didn't know who he wanted to kill first.

"He was evil," Foster said. "That man was evil. The look in his eyes when he came in and left, he was serious about everything."

Gary Helton believes he saw that same look Friday morning.

"Somebody that would take your life and not think nothing about it," Helton said.

He said a man matching the same description met him at his front door Friday morning.

"Soon as I turned around he was there," Helton said.

Helton handed the man his wallet, but that wasn't enough.

He wanted Helton to take him inside, where Helton's wife was asleep.

"I said, 'You are not going inside. You are going to do what you are going to do right here and now,'" Helton said.

The man beat Helton so badly he had to have metal plates put in his face.

All the victims want anyone with information about this robber to call police

Police are searching for a black man, between 5 feet 9 inches and 6 feet tall with a brown toboggan and a gray sweat suit.

The robber was armed with a black semi-automatic handgun.

If you have information please contact Bessemer City Police Department at 704-629-2235 at any time, Gaston County Crime Stoppers at 704-861-8000.