Couple beaten outside Walmart

Published 9:13 am Wednesday, December 29, 2010


FRANKLIN—A Franklin man was jailed after allegedly using a club to beat a Southampton County couple outside Walmart after an apparent altercation inside the store, Franklin police said.


Khalid El-Amin Muhammad, 41, formerly known as Keith Nesbitt, is accused of attacking the unidentified husband and wife from behind as they left the Armory Drive store at 1:14 p.m. Monday, police said. Both were taken to Southampton Memorial Hospital with what police called serious injuries.

Muhammad left the scene driving a pickup with his two children inside, police said. Officer Randall Bailey spotted the suspect on Armory Drive and stopped the truck, taking Muhammad into custody.

Mike Bryant told The Tidewater News he saw Muhammad attack the couple and understood it may have been prompted by a racial slur exchanged between the suspect and victims.

“They were right outside the front door,” said Bryant, who was on his cell phone when he noticed something going on.

“That’s when I heard a bunch of screaming and yelling,” he said. “All I could see was blonde hair flying around. I saw a black male beating a woman with a Billy Club-type bat.”

“He beat the man up pretty good, busted his head,” Bryant continued. “I saw the blood.”

Bryant said the victims seemed to be in total awe during the attack.

“I don’t know what stopped it — maybe that it was drawing so much attention,” he said. “It was over as quickly as it started. The lady was screaming for help, trying to fight him off with her pocketbook.”

Bryant also helped catch the suspect after following him in his vehicle from the parking lot to Armory Drive. He said the suspect turned around, tried to run him off the road, turned around again and went back into Franklin trying to get on the highway.

“That is where they apprehended him,” said Bryant. “Right there at the on-ramp for (Highway) 58. I stayed right behind him the whole time.”

Bryant said he would have tried to stop Muhammad from beating the couple, but hesitated after seeing the bat.

“It (the bat) did some damage,” he said, “And I thought ‘uh-oh, now he’s going to go off on me.’”

Muhammad was taken to Western Tidewater Regional Jail, where he was held without bond on charges of malicious wounding and assault and battery.