Elderly Couple Robbed at Gunpoint

By: Stephen McLamb, Bureau Chief
By: Stephen McLamb, Bureau Chief

Friendsville, Blount County (WVLT) - A normally peaceful area in rural Blount County was anything but that Wednesday night after an elderly couple is bound and held at gunpoint.

It was a terrifying ordeal for the retired teacher and her husband at their home just outside Friendsville.

But the suspects left some clues such as taking their vehicle and using their credit cards, even taking unique items like a snake ring with a Tennessee pearl and authorities could use your help in tracking them down.

"He pulled a gun out of his back pocket, stuck it up in my face," that's what Keith Patterson faced early Thursday morning following a home invasion to his Hamil Road home shortly after midnight.

He says he was cutting off the lights going to bed when he heard a knock at the door where he was met by a woman who said she needed help, but Patterson said a man then barged in with her.

"I slugged him, which I shouldn't have done I guess," that's when Patterson says the man pulled a gun on him and the couple then began tying them up with electrical tape.

"That thumb and these two fingers are dead and they still are," Patterson says.

His wife Charlene was heavily bruised from the ordeal which lasted for nearly an hour as the man held them at bay.

"Had his gun out and the woman went back in the back bedroom and started ransacking them." Patterson says the finally left after taking items and their 1996 White Ford Explorer and later used his credit card at an unknown Shell station. The couple broke loose and later called for help at a neighbor's home.

He says he recognized the couple walking just days before. "They spoke and I spoke and they went on down the road."

The male suspect is believed to be around 30 years old and 6'1" tall.

The female in her early 20's, slender, and has dark hair past her shoulders.

The third suspect could be someone in their early teens around 5 feet two inches tall wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt.

If anyone has any information on this crime or these suspects you are asked to contact the Blount County Sheriff's 24 Hour Crime Tip Hotline at 273-5200.


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