Officials offering up to $2,500 in rewards for info in Hall St. - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Officials offering up to $2,500 in rewards for info in Hall St. robbery, stabbing

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

A Savannah woman is recovering after being stabbed several times during a robbery on Aug. 14. 

The Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department said Carol Bontekoe was walking up the stairs to her West Hall Street apartment when she was attacked around 3:30, Sunday morning. 

One new bit of information coming from police Monday is that the suspect is believed to be in his late 20’s or early-30's.

He is described as a black man, about 5 feet 9 inches to 6 feet tall, and he was wearing dark clothes at the time of the robbery.

Bontekoe was halfway up the stairs on the backside of her apartment building when she told police the man grabbed her purse, saying that was all he wanted. But as Bontekoe pulled back, he pulled a knife and stabbed her. 

Bontekoe was hit several times, including in the eye, and has been recovering from her injuries at Memorial Health ever since.

I spoke to the victim’s sister Monday, who says while what happened to her sister cannot go unpunished, that she feels compassion for the person responsible.

"I feel really bad for him, because I feel like, what has he gone through? Why would he think this is a choice? And even that somebody wouldn't be willing to just give him some money if he needs some money, or that he couldn't get help. That this is an option,” said Diane Buckery. "I think she was really surprised. And that's why I say I don't want her to be afraid because I think it was scary. I think she felt safe, and then this happened."

Buckery and her husband took some time Monday to tell us how her sister is doing following the robbery that sent her to the hospital with three stab wounds and a fractured skull

"She's in a lot of pain. She was stabbed in the eye, and then two other times. So, I think she's handling it really well. It's scary,” said Buckery.

When Bontekoe's family learned that she was actually able to fight off her attacker with her bicycle and continue climbing the stairs to get help, they weren't surprised.

"It's just amazing. What's really encouraging is just the support and the network of friends that she has here in Savannah,” said Gabriel Buckery, victim’s brother-in-law.

Buckery says that a network of friends has raised more than $20,000 on a GoFundMe page for Carol, and stopped by to visit her in the hospital. And the family continues to rely on their strong faith, hoping for a full recovery.

"I was like OK, God knew this was going to happen, and told me not to be afraid. So I'm not going to be afraid, and trust for the best. And I still believe her I will be healed. She can't see out of it right now, she can't open it, she can't see anything. But I believe she will be healed,” said Buckery.

And that her attacker will be brought to justice, for the safety of the community.

There's always a better way than robbing somebody, or trying to mug them. There's never an excuse to do that,” said Buckery.

This is an ongoing investigation. Crimestoppers is offering up to $2,500 in reward money for any information that could lead to an arrest. 

Anyone with knowledge of this incident should contact the SCMPD tip line at 912.525.3124.

Information may also be forwarded to CrimeStoppers at 912.234.2020. Tipsters remain anonymous and may qualify for a cash reward.

Family and friends have set up a GoFundMe Page to help with medical expenses. Click here for the link.

The Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police issued the following tips:

  • If you’re going to be out after dark, try to have someone with you – there is often safety in numbers.
  • Travel in well-lit areas and make sure your home has adequate outdoor lighting.
  • Stand tall and walk confidently with your shoulders back and chin up.
  • Show you're alert by moving your head from side to side and scanning the area around you.
  • If you think someone is following you, cross the street or switch direction.  Walk toward an open business or lighted house. If you're scared, yell for help or scream "fire" or even “police.”
  • Listen for footsteps approaching quickly from behind you. Turn around and look at the person approaching. This defensive behavior could stop a robbery before it happens.
  • Don't be fooled by a false sense of security because "it looks safe" or "it's a good neighborhood." Robberies occur everywhere.
  • Lastly, if someone threatens you with a weapon, give up your purse, wallet, or car immediately. Your life is far more important and irreplaceable.

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