Third arrest made after amputee's prosthetic leg taken in near-fatal beating

by: Ken Lemon Updated:

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. - Only Channel 9 was there Monday as a Gaston County man reunited with his neighbor who rescued him after he said he was beaten, and then had his prosthetic leg taken.

The victim talked one-on-one with Channel 9 reporter Ken Lemon about the moment he woke to up to people attacking him.

Aaron Sanders said that after the attacks, he fell down the back steps of his home, then rolled and crawled down the hill to his neighbor's home, where he beat on the door for help.

He said paramedics told him he stopped breathing for a few seconds while lying on the front steps.

On Monday, Sanders thanked Sonya Finch, the neighbor who opened the door and called for help.

He said she was the only help he had after attackers stole his custom-made prosthetic leg. He is using a temporary replacement.

Sanders said his girlfriend Holly Mesker began hanging out with dangerous people, and he told Mesker she and her daughter had to move out.

Police said Mesker got angry, left Sanders home near Stanley, but made sure the door was unlocked.

According to warrants, her ex-husband Patrick Christopher and his friend William Ortho broke in Thursday morning with weapons and wearing masks.

"That's how I woke up. They (used a Taser on) me and started beating me in the face with a ball bat,” Sanders said.

Sanders said the attack lasted about 45 minutes.

“(I was) hoping the good Lord give me a chance to make it out alive,” he said.

He said he heard one man tell the other to cut his head off with a machete, but they decided it was unnecessary.

"He will be dead by the time they find him. Threw my body in the corner and threw a mattress on top of me,” Sanders said, describing what the assailants had said.

He said they took his wallet, his SUV and grabbed his prosthetic leg as a trophy.

"They say what don't kill you makes you stronger. I may be Superman before it's over with,” Sanders said.

All three attackers have been charged with attempted murder

"Justice will hopefully get served,” Sanders said.

Sanders said he will feel better when he gets the leg stolen from him back. It's seized as evidence in the case.

Channel 9 covered the crash that led to Sanders having to have his leg amputated. He was riding his motorcycle in April 2015, when he crossed the yellow line and clipped a car on Highway 7 in Mount Holly.

Troopers charged with driver, Deante Cunningham, because he left the scene before investigators arrived.


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