Attack on Mt. Pleasant Township business owner shocks, saddens residents
Crystal Pitts was washing dishes about 7:45 p.m. Tuesday when she said something prompted her to go out onto the porch of her Railroad Street home in the Bridgeport section of Mt. Pleasant Township.
Pitts saw something that might help solve a crime.
“I saw two white boys come running by the house,” she said.
Moments later, Pitts said, she heard that a robbery had just occurred at the nearby general store on Buckeye Road, owned by Melvin “Beanie” McCloy.
McCloy was flown to a Pittsburgh hospital for treatment of injuries he suffered during the robbery, according to his cousin, Ray McCloy, owner of Dick McCloy's Tire Service on Buckeye Tram Road.
“Beanie was hit several times by a blunt object. He has a fractured skull and a broken finger,” Ray McCloy said.
Pitts and about two dozen of McCloy's friends and family members gathered near the store on Wednesday morning.
“I get four dozen eggs from him every Saturday,” Pitts said.
McCloy, the third generation of his family to run the store, has owned it for about 40 years, according to Ray McCloy.
Most people in the close-knit community know his cousin as a “nice, kind man” and a “top-notch” turkey hunter, he said.
“If they'd have asked him for the money, he'd have probably given it to them. Beanie is a good guy, he'd give you the shirt off his back,” he said.
Family friend Mary Clark was still shaken as she talked about the robbery.
“I really got sick when I heard, really upset. ... I started crying,” Clark said.
Nearby on Bridgeport Street Extension, the sign for the New Hope Community Church in Bridgeport reads: “Steal and destroy God's property, repent, save (your) soul.”
The Rev. Michael Dickman posted the message recently when someone tried to pry open a door of the church's van to get to the contents inside.
“It's something how, when they tried to rob the church, I put this sign up. Then they go and do something like this,” Dickman said.
As for the search for the suspects, Dickman said people will be watching.
“There are so many people who know and love Beanie. They'll keep an eye out,” he said.
State police are investigating, but no report was available, said Greensburg state police Trooper Steve Limani.
A.J. Panian is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-547-5722 or firstname.lastname@example.org.