A man who was beaten Sunday morning during an armed robbery and kidnapping was released from the hospital later that day, but Statesboro police are still seeking answers regarding the forced-entry break-in.
According to incident reports and a brief statement by the Statesboro Police Department, Tyler Joseph Strudgeon, of Robinhood Trail, was forced from his home around 2:30 a.m. Sunday, made to drive his attackers to an ATM and apparently robbed at gunpoint and beaten.
Strudgeon's girlfriend, Natalie Bonnell, said on Monday that she could not divulge details of the attack because police asked the family not to do so in order to "protect the integrity of the investigation."
"I would love to spew all the graphic details of what they did to him," she said. "But he is alive, and that is what matters."
"This is a violent crime, and we do have some leads," said Statesboro police Chief Mike Broadhead.
There was no one in custody Monday evening, but incident reports list a man by name as a suspect. Police officials would not comment further, according to Statesboro police Information Specialist Madison Bridges.
After the Statesboro Herald spoke with Broadhead on Monday afternoon about details included in the report, it was apparently removed from the Statesboro police website (statesboropd.com).
Crimes listed on the report that occurred during the incident include aggravated assault, aggravated battery, first-degree burglary/forced entry, kidnapping, false imprisonment and aggravated cruelty to animals.
Police said the suspects "bludgeoned the victim's pet" in his presence but would not say what type of pet was involved. Reports indicated that officers obtained fingerprints from a hamster cage. They also listed a "bloody hammer" and "bloody footprints" as evidence gathered during the initial investigation.
The suspects reportedly forced Strudgeon, 23, to drive his red 2004 Jeep Wrangler to an ATM in an undisclosed location and took $193 in cash, a cellphone, a watch, a laptop computer and a wallet.
A woman claiming to be Sturdgeon's mother, Melissa Daw Strudgeon, wrote in a social media post that her son was held at gunpoint and ordered to pray for his life. She said he is a National Guardsman.
Bonnell said Tyler Strudgeon suffered extensive facial injuries.
"This happened to an innocent kid in his bed at night," she said, adding that police are working with them to solve the case. "Hopefully next week, we can have these people where they belong."
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.