Fla. store clerk grateful to be alive after beating
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (WHDH) -- A store clerk relived the horror after armed crooks stormed in and delivered blow after blow.
"They just rushed in the store," said Thomas Newsome . "And when I saw guns waving, that's when I just turned around and put my hands up like I seen in the video."
As two thugs rummaged through the register, a third took 23-year-old Newsome to the back office of the 7-Eleven on Sheridan Street and demanded he open a safe and turn over surveillance video. "That's when I thought it was over right there," said Newsome, "cause I couldn't get him no money or no tape."
When Newsome told the man he didn't have a key to the safe or access to the video, Newsome was told to get on his knees and prepare to die. A gun was then put to his head. "The guy that came in and watched me for the other dude was like, 'you gonna die tonight,'" said Newsome. "And he had the gun to the back of my head so that's when I just had my eyes closed like waiting for him to pull the trigger."
Newsome believes a customer who entered the store at that moment may have spooked the robbers and saved his life. But it didn't save him from a beating. He has stitches in two places on his head from being pistol whipped and a black eye from being kicked in the face.
The robbers ran off and several minutes later Newsome got into his car on his way to a co-workers to call 911 when he hit a light pole. "I was panicking, you know," said Newsome. "I was trying to get away from that area and that's when I hit the car and I blacked out."
The crash broke Newsome's hip and pelvis and split his tongue. He will be in a wheel chair for a month. His mom said it was a miracle he wasn't shot or killed that night. "I had to thank the Lord that God was watching him," said his mother. "And he was protecting him."
Amazingly, he said he has forgiven the three robbers and although he has a long recovery, he's looking forward to what 2013 has in store. "God saved me like twice within the same hour," said Newsome. "I wanna see what he's got planned for me this year that's coming up, like what he kept me alive for."
Newsome said when he recovers, he plans to return to work. He said he will not work another over night shift.
Police are still looking for the three people behind the robbery.
If you have any information on this crime, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.