A family residing at 853 Johnson Ridge Road saw their lives thrown into turmoil early Wednesday morning after three assailants broke into the rear door of their home holding them hostage at gunpoint.
The home invasion resulted in a major assault on two of the victims, one who was stabbed in his hand as he agonized through the ordeal.
According to one of the victims, however, he said the act of violence could be random or may be connected to a threat he received from a person he owes a sum of money to who is in custody in a Wilkes County jail.
“I had a guy…who got busted for drugs. He sent a message (through family) that if I didn’t send some money to him in the jail by 9 o’clock that he was sending somebody over,” said Corey Antone, 46, one of the victims.
The other victim, girlfriend Nikki Darnell, 29, said that she felt as if someone had been staking out her place for a few days leading up to the incident.
“I feel like people have been watching this place,” she said.
Darnell also indicated, “We don’t know who these guys are working for or who had them do this.”
According to the Elkin Police Department, the allegation on a possible hit by a person in custody is being reviewed.
“Yes, we are aware of the allegation. No, I can’t share any insight. The case is still being investigated,” said Capt. Kim Robison of the Elkin Police Department.
Darnell, an employee at Elkin Healthcare, said she and Antone were in bed sleeping when she heard the rear door kicked.
“They came through the back door. The backyard is pitch black. I told the landlord to fix the motion light. He didn’t. I think they were watching us,” said Darnell.
Darnell’s two children, ages 7 and 8, raced into the bedroom during the commotion.
“They ran to us, but then one of the attackers ordered the kids to the next room because they didn’t want them to see him kill their mom,” said Darnell. “They took the kids to a separate room holding them with a gun.”
According to Darnell, at some point the attackers put duct taped around the hands of Darnell and Antone forcing them to lie down on the bedroom floor.
The assailants ransacked the house looking for money, according to the couple.
“I know you got more money than this. He kept repeating it….You have a nice crib. Where’s the money? Give me the money. Tell me where it’s at?” said Darnell.
“Whatever is in my pocket, you can have it,” Antone said he told one attacker. Antone described how the assailant used a gun to continuously beat him.
Darnell recalled how one of the assailants put his foot on her back and kept beating her in the head with a pistol. “He took out a knife and was going to stab me, but Corey begged him not to do that,” she said.
Antone, who was subdued by the attackers, saw his left hand extend outward onto the carpet. The attacker took a knife and centered it on his hand and started forcing the knife into him.
“We already gave him all the money we had. All we had was rent money. It didn’t matter. He insisted that we had more in the house,” said Antone, who said he had to close his eyes because the pain from the knife penetrating his flesh was unbearable.
According to Darnell, after the attacker pistol-whipped Antone additional times, the attacker ordered one of his assailants to shoot her in the leg. The second assailant refused to shoot Darnell, but the refusal made the attacker more angry.
“The attackers were all black men,” said Antone. “One of the attackers looked to be about 16 or 17. The kid kept trying to help us, saying for us to please listen to the main attacker and give him anything he wanted.”
“He left us on the floor. They kept going in the house and outside. It lingered for a while. I kept working my way to untie Corey. They kept returning. This went on for an eternity,” said Darnell.
“My kids were first to notice they were gone. They took Corey’s car…I looked to make sure that they were gone and called 911,” said Darnell.
The Elkin Police Department responded to the house at 6:15 a.m.
According to Robison, a police dispatcher issued a 10-101, police jargon for “be on the lookout” for the vehicle.
Antone said that he leases a blue Cadillac DeVille and the vehicle was equipped with OnStar.
“We were on the phone with credit cards, the car company, and they located the car,” said Darnell.
According to news partner WXII Channel 12, the vehicle was intercepted by the Winston-Salem Police Department and involved in a wreck. The driver of the stolen vehicle, William Dungee, 18, and the passenger, Daquan Glover, 17, were captured at Inca Lane and Mayan Court.
Both face numerous charges and were booked into the Forsyth County Detention Center on $25,000 bond.
A third suspect is being sought. Police have not released a description of the third person wanted in connection to the crime.
Darnell and Antone were treated at Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital and released.
The two children returned to the house Wednesday afternoon accompanied by a relative.
“Mommy, your eye. Oh, mommy. Are you OK?” asked the youngest child, Darnell’s daughter. Her son was behind his sister staring at his mother. Darnell comforted the children and pulled them into her arms assuring them that she would be OK. The moment was a tipping point for Darnell who indicated that she would not be staying in the house.
At the property, the landlord was on premise fixing the rear door.
Antone wants justice. He was relieved with information that two have been arrested, but he wants the third person captured.
“I will make every meeting, every hearing, every court date on the ones who did this to us,” he said.
Surrounded by a slew of family and friends at the residence on Wednesday afternoon, the couple were convinced to flee the property.
It is unknown if they’ll move back into the residence.
Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 835-1513 or at firstname.lastname@example.org