UPDATE 12/24/12 @ 8:20 p.m.
WELLSTON, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Two men have been arrested in connection with the brutal beating and robbery of a 90-year-old man inside his coin shop business early this month.
Larry Hart Jr. of Athens County was charged with aggravated robbery, and Dale Canter of Hamden, Ohio, is awaiting formal charges.
John Queen, the business owner, suffered serious head injuries in the incident after he was struck with a crowbar. About $12,000 was taken from his business. Queen was transferred to a Columbus hospital before being released days later.
“We have all kinds of crimes in Wellston; we don't normally have such a violent crime as this,” Wellston Police Detective John Robinson said. “I think it made all the business owners and everyone feel unsafe. We felt like we needed to get this taken care of and get this solved and get someone charged.”
Queen reacted to news of the arrests.
“Probably this is drug related, and so maybe if they solve this one it will help them overcome some of the drug culture that is in this area," Queen said.
He and his family say the Wellston Police Department has been on top of the case since day one, and they are grateful for the ongoing effort.
Both suspects could be in court later this week.
Wellston Police say the investigation was a group effort with the Jackson, Vinton and Athens counties sheriff’s offices.
At 90 years old, Mr. Queen has earned that rite, but he's the first to tell you it's out of character.
"I've got trees that can be cut for firewood, " Mr. Queen said. "But the doctor says it'll be at least six months."
Queen is home recovering, with stitches to his head, arms and hand. He was badly beaten with a crowbar during a robbery at his coin shop business in Wellston.
Mr. Wilson shared his story Friday with WSAZ.com's Bill Murray about how quick thinking ultimately saved his life. He also reflects on how he thinks justice will finally prevail.
John Queen was beaten and robbed at his thrift shop in Wellston on Monday. Wellston Police say he was found on the floor of his coin shop about 9:20 a.m.
The thief stole $12,000 in cash and old collector coins.
Queen suffered two skull fractures and doctors say it will take at least six months to make a full recovery. He was released from the hospital yesterday evening.
The man who attacked him is still on the loose.
John Queen is a very well-respected man in his community -- someone who has spent his life helping others. He is a minister and a former member of the Peace Corps.
Aimee Preston said her father ran the coin shop in downtown Wellston -- not because he needed the money -- but because he liked to stay busy.
"To do this to another human being, let alone a 90-year-old man, is unthinkable," Preston said.
Police say a man rushed into the shop Monday and hit Queen in the head multiple times with a crow bar.
Queen's family says it was his quick thinking that saved his life. Preston explained that her father pretended he was dead -- so the beating would end.
“He dialed 911 for himself and saved his own life,” she said. “To be that badly beaten and call for your own help, that just shows the man my dad is and the courage he has because he didn't faint until he called for help."
The suspect took off with queen's wallet and money box.
Aimee says men driving a trash truck found the money box in a creek about 8 miles away in Dundas. She says more than $12,000 in cash and collectors coins had been taken, but police were able to get fingerprints from it.
Queen's son-in-law Jim Preston said the suspect clearly didn't know him well.
"If the man would have walked in and told him his story, he'd have given him whatever he needed,” Jim Preston said.
Queen also ran a center in Wellston to help the needy. Family and friends say he'd given away more than $100,000 to those in need.
Aimee Preston believes her father's survival is nothing short of a miracle, and Queen's family hopes he gets the chance to identify the man who left him to die.
“He’s not dead. He’s alive and well,” Jim Preston said. “And if I know John at all, he'll be pointing right at him and calling him out so he can serve his time and serve it well."
Queen was taken to a hospital in Columbus and given a CAT scan. He suffered two skull fractures, but doctors say he should be able to make a full recovery in about 6 months.
Wellston Police say John Queen, owner of Royal Enterprises, was found on the floor of his coin shop about 9:20 a.m.
Queen told police that a man ran into the business and hit him with what he thought was a crowbar. The man then took Queen’s wallet and a money box, containing a large amount of cash and several old coins.
Queen was first taken to Holzer Medical Center in Jackson with head trauma. He later was transferred to Grant Hospital in Columbus.
His medical condition was unavailable late Monday night.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Wellston Police Department at 740-384-2171. That includes anyone who was in the downtown area at the time and noticed anything possibly related to the incident.
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