Randolph County homeowner says man armed with hammer stole his cellphone, demanded his keys

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RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. — A homeowner on Mack Lineberry Road says he’s still rattled after a man armed with a hammer approached him in his driveway Sunday morning.

The homeowner didn’t want to be identified but explained that he left the door of his truck open at the base of his driveway while he picked up trash on his property.

He said he had his keys in his pocket when the suspect, later identified as 37-year-old John Paul Abbott, pulled up in a red pickup truck.

The homeowner said he saw Abbott leaning into his truck as he started walking over.

“He said, ‘I need your keys, you got your keys? I need your keys,’” the homeowner explained.

He saw a hammer raised in Abbott’s hand but told him he didn’t have them.

“I was scared to death,” the homeowner said. “I mean, even more so after I kind of realized what had happened.”

He later learned the red pickup truck was stolen from a home in Franklinville. Randolph County deputies say Abbott left the home, smashed the window of a business nearby on Highway 22 and led them on a chase into Guilford County.

Deputies deployed stop sticks and Abott crashed into a fence. FOX8 learned Monday Abbott was impaled by a piece of fencing and had to be flown to Wake Forest Baptist Hospital with serious injuries.

The homeowner said he wishes things could have ended differently.

“No matter what he did, he still has a family, he has people that care about him, and I just hate that he chose to do what he did, and it wound up happening,” he said, emotionally.

Abbott faces outstanding warrants for felony fleeing/eluding arrest with a motor vehicle, felony possession of methamphetamine, misdemeanor littering not greater than 15 lbs., improper passing on right, failure to stop for a steady red light, reckless driving to endanger, no motorcycle endorsement, failure to maintain lane control, driving while license revoked and failure to heed light or siren.

Randolph Counties deputies say he faces additional charges upon his release from the hospital.

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