Suspects sought in home invasion

By Keith Strange Staff Reporter

November 11, 2013

BANNERTOWN — Police are seeking two suspects in a home invasion Friday evening that sent an elderly Bannertown man to the hospital.

According to Detective Chad Hutchens with the Surry County Sheriff’s Office, the incident occurred at 1938 Westfield Road and was reported at 7:47 p.m. by homeowner George Dewel Cook, 80.

According to the detective, Cook was at home when a female knocked on his back door.

“(Cook) went to the door since the back light was on, and after seeing the female opened the door to talk to her,” he said. “The conversation was by no means about anything that would raise suspicions, she said she needed directions.”

Shortly after opening the door, the female suspect allegedly pepper-sprayed the elderly homeowner “several times,” according to police.

“After pepper spraying Mr. Cook, she entered the residence and was followed inside by a male who had his face covered,” Hutchens said.

Once inside the residence, the two suspects reportedly attacked the homeowner.

“They forced the victim to the floor, tied his arms and legs and began physically assaulting him,” the detective said. “While one was holding the victim and continuing to assault him, the other began going through the house searching for property and things of value.”

The only items reported missing at this time are a handgun and pocket knife, according to police.

After the pair left the residence, Cook was reportedly able to free himself and call law enforcement.

When help arrived, Cook was transported to Northern Hospital, where he was treated for multiple lacerations, bruises and swelling on his face, arms and legs.

Hutchens said investigators were on the scene for several hours collecting evidence.

“Right now, we have processed the scene, collected evidence and are seeking the assistance of the State Bureau of Investigation to analyze the evidence,” he said. “We’re actively investigating the incident in an effort to identify the suspects.”

Police say they believe the attackers to be one male and one female, “most likely in their 20s.”

“The victim can’t provide concrete identification because he was pepper sprayed and had trouble seeing,” Hutchens said.

But the detective said they will continue investigating until all avenues have been exhausted.

“We’ve already spent a lot of time on this, and will continue to work on it to see if we can identify the suspects,” he said. “There’s no doubt we want to bring closure to this. It was very traumatic for the victim.”

Anyone with information about the home invasion is asked to call the Surry County Sheriff’s Office at 476-8900.

Reach Keith Strange at or 719-1929.