Man takes beating during robbery to protect wife

by: Ken Lemon Updated:

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BESSEMER CITY, N.C. - A man ambushed outside of his Bessemer City home is still recovering in the hospital Friday.

He was pistol whipped Friday morning by a robber who wanted more money.

Eyewitness News reporter Ken Lemon talked to family members who said the man took the beating because he didn't want his wife to be a victim too.

Police went door to door Friday looking for anyone who saw the robber that pistol whipped Gary Helton who had gone outside to warm up his truck when he was attacked in his driveway.

His neighbors on East Washington Avenue are shocked and angry.

"He is just a very good guy," Lorrie Glaser said. "I hate for something like this happen to him."

When the robber demanded money, police said Helton told him he didn't have much.

The robber ordered Helton to take him inside, but Helton refused because his wife was in the house sleeping.

Relative Jeff Gunter said that was not an option.

"This man loves this woman with all of his heart and soul," Gunter said.

About a week ago, his wife had a fall that left her ribs badly injured she found it difficult to get around on her own.

Gunter said Helton would never put his wife of 34 years in harm's way.

"He would do anything for her," Gunter said.

Helton's head injuries were so severe from the attack he couldn't open the front door, Gunter said.

He staggered to the window, knocked on it to wake his wife, and she called 911.

Helton is expected to be OK

The robber got away with his wallet.

"We are going to be searching every way we can search," said Chief Tom Ellis with the Bessemer City Police Department. "We are going to be working this case relentlessly."

Police hope someone saw this robber and calls them.

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