Update: Victim of beating and robbery worried for his future, closing his store | Crime
SALISBURY - Two brothers are behind bars in Rowan County, accused of twice robbing and beating an elderly man inside of his business on Highway 29. On Wednesday that man was talking about the robberies and how his life has been forever changed.
Gerald Burkhart is playful with his customers. He loves people, and there's a reason for that.
"Last year I lost my wife and I'm trying to recover from the loneliness of that and keeping busy and active," Burkhart told WBTV. "I thought I had done well here until I came upon something I could not control."
What he couldn't control were those people who sought to take advantage of him for his age, or his hearing loss. On Friday Burkhart was robbed and roughed up a bit, according to the sheriff. It happened in his business, the Indoor Flea Market on 29 south of Salisbury.
"I am okay, overall yes, physically I am in great shape, psychologically I am perplexed," Burkhart said. "There is so much discontent and uncertainty in the world, people react in different ways and it's scary."
The same two brothers came back Tuesday night, according to the sheriff, only this time, one of them hit Burkhart in the head with a tire tool. Dried blood still stains the phone he used to call 911.
Burkhart was back at work on Wednesday, but that's because he says that he's had enough. He's closing this store.
"You can't really make enough money to afford people to protect everything, it's a catch 22, it can't be done," Burkhart added.
He said that the store was his outlet, his hobby, his reason to get up everyday, now at 72, he doesn't know what's next.
"I am at a point, 72 years old, I know not what to do now. I'm not really employable any more in the work force but I am to healthy not to be," Burkhart said. "I want to be significant and that's what's important now."
The brothers, 23 year old William McCrary and 19 year old Christopher McCrary, are both charged with common law robbery and robbery with a dangerous weapon. Both are being held under $350,000 bond.
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