ROCK HILL — A Rock Hill man taking out the trash Saturday night was taken to a Charlotte hospital, suffering from bruises to his head, face and nose, after a would-be robber pistol-whipped him because he didn’t hand over cash, police say.
On Tuesday, police charged Steven Anthony Starnes, 20, with attempted murder, attempted armed robbery, unlawful possession of a pistol and first-degree assault and battery. He is being held at the Rock Hill jail on a $250,000 bond.
On Saturday, police were called to Stones Crossing apartments on Riverview Road after receiving complaints about a fight around 9:50 p.m. When they arrived, a woman told officers her husband, 45, was pistol-whipped while taking out the trash, according to a Rock Hill police report.
Police spoke with the husband, who said that while walking to the back of his apartment, a man approached him with a pistol in hand and asked for his wallet and money, the report states. When he told the man he did not have any money, the gunman became “enraged,” police said, and began pistol-whipping him, hitting the victim on the face and head several times.
When the assailant struck the man’s nose with the gun, the pistol fired a shot before the victim fell unconscious, according to the report. The man suffered injuries to his face and head, and was bleeding “profusely” from his nose. The man’s wife screamed after she heard the shot and saw the “flash” of the gun.
The would-be robber fled while the wife helped her husband back into their apartment. The man said he recognized Starnes as a relative of a neighbor, the report states. EMS took the man to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.
A witness told police he saw Starnes beat the man with the gun, and heard the gunshot.