‘He put me in the trunk of a car’ 76-year-old Franklin man speaks after abductor arrested

Deon Marcel Gatling

ISLE OF WIGHT, Va. - Law enforcement officials in Isle of Wight said that Deon Marcel Gatling, a suspect who police believe abducted and robbed an elderly man on June 30, was arrested in Bertie County Wednesday morning.

According to officials, the 30-year-old is accused of confronting the elderly man outside his home.

The 76-year-old man told News 3 he was just getting back from Walmart and went back to the car to grab a bag. He said when that happened, someone wrapped a towel around his head and he was shoved into the car.

Soon after, the victim said the man who police believe to be Gatling took the victim's credit and debit cards, then forced him into the trunk of a car.

"Then we went riding. Where I went riding to, I don't know. We rode a while," the victim said.

Police said the elderly man was eventually released, but Gatling withdrew money from his accounts at an ATM in Murfreesboro, North Carolina. Gatling also tried to use the elderly man's cards in Chesapeake.

"He told me, '[I'm not] going to kill you.' He said, 'I'm not going to leave you in the woods [or] down the road; I'm going to take you back to civilization where somebody can help you,'" the victim recalled.

In total, the elderly man said he was in the trunk of the car for nine hours.

"I'm alright. I don't think I need [any] counseling. The good Lord brought me all the way through that, and He's still going to stick by me," he said.

Gatling was charged with Abduction, Robbery, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon and Use of a Firearm in Commission of a Felony. He was extradited back to Isle of Wight County Monday for an arraignment.

Gatling's preliminary trial is set for October 4 at 1 p.m. in Isle of Wight General District Court.

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