Trio arrested after 93-year-old man violently attacked in home invasion

Trio arrested after 93-year-old man violently attacked in home invasion

ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. — Deputies said all three people responsible for attacking a 93-year-old Rowan County man during a home invasion last month have been arrested.

According to deputies, paramedics were called to Thomas Eller’s house on Little Crane Cove in Salisbury for what they thought involved him falling in his home.

When they got there, first responders said Eller told them that he had been attacked. He said that he went to let his dog out at around 11:45 p.m. and when he opened his back door, he was immediately attacked by two white men wearing masks.

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According to Eller, the men pushed him back inside his home and began beating and kicking him. He said they knew his name and kept asking for the location of a safe, but he told them he didn’t have one.

After a few minutes, Eller said he stopped moving and that’s when the attackers left the house.

When deputies found him they said he had a gash on his head and mouth, and was missing two teeth.

Eller was initially taken to Novant Rowan for treatment but was later transferred to Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte after tests revealed a bruise to his brain. A friend of the family told Channel 9 that Eller’s family is with him at the hospital.

Angela Bame told Channel 9 that she has been delivering mail in the neighborhood for years and is surprised something like this happened.

“I’m shocked,” she said. “This is a really safe area.”

Following the home invasion, deputies said they partnered with several law enforcement agencies to identify suspects.

On Jan. 11 at about 11 p.m., the Lexington Police Department responded to a home on Glenwood Drive for a report of a burglary and armed robbery. Deputies said the case was very similar to the home invasion involving Eller.

Detectives said they were able to identify 33-year-old Alan Shane Hess, 27-year-old Alexander Ballew and 31-year-old Dwon Nicholas Still as suspects.

On Sunday, Hess was arrested in Winston Salem and charged with first-degree burglary, robbery with a dangerous weapon, first-degree kidnapping, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, felony larceny and felony probation violation. He is also facing charges in the Lexington incident.

Ballew is currently an inmate at the Guilford County Detention Center and will be served with his warrants at the facility.

Detectives said Still turned himself in on Tuesday.

Anyone with any information can contact 1st. Lt. Rodney Mahaley at 704-216-8711, Detective Jeremy Thomason at 704-216-8683 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-639-5245.

Check back with WSOC-TV.com for updates.

93-year-old violently attacked by mask-wearing men during home invasion