Pelham family survives terrifying weekend - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Pelham family survives terrifying weekend

By Christian Jennings - bio | email

Pelham,  GA (WALB) - The owners of a small, family grocery store were robbed at knife point Saturday night. Three men rushed in at closing time, held a knife to the clerk's neck and grabbed money from the register.

A young boy was forced to watch in horror as a man held a knife to his mother's throat.

Thankfully, the men were caught quickly because a customer was able to sneak out and call police.

Sue Bettison says she'll never forget the frightening Saturday night attack. "He grabbed me here and had the knife here. I thought I was going to die,"he said.

Just before closing, the Bettison and Family grocery in Pelham was robbed. "Three of them came to the door I watched them walk to the back, turn back around, then one of them grabbed me from behind and squeezed me with a knife up to my neck."

Her cousin Eric Kirkland was in the back when he heard her scream. "It happened in a split second. One of them knocked me over this shelf, everything was on the floor, then I chased after them down the street."

But no one was more terrified than Sue's son Michael, who said, "My heart dropped."

And he watched in horror as his mother's attacker held a knife to her neck. "I thought someone was going to kill my mama."

That's when Michael tried to stop it. "He put the knife here and opened the register and my son jumped up and told him to let go, the guy told him to shut up and through the change drawer at him."

Police say the robbers are 35-year-old Ricky Swan, 22-year-old Willie Hopkins, and 20-year-old Mario Oliver, who are now in jail, which is a big relief for Bettison and Family

Sue Bettison says their family business has been around for 44 years. Two years ago, her father was shot at during a robbery at the store. Thankfully, he wasn't hurt, and that robber was caught.

The three men arrested for Saturday night's holdup are charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault, and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime.

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