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Quitman residents on edge after string of attacks

By Staff
ATTACKED Quitman Church of God pastor Johnny Mosley, 78, said he is not angry at a young black man who attacked him on Oct. 2. The man had come to Mosley's front door and asked for a cup of water. Mosley said the people of Quitman have been very helpful to him through the ordeal.Photo by Kyle Carter / The Meridian Star.
By Georgia E. Frye / staff writer
October 14, 2003
A 78-year-old Quitman pastor cried when asked about being beaten and robbed two weeks ago, but said he is not angry, just discouraged that people can be so cruel.
Mosley said he saw only one person during the robbery, a small black man in his 50s, but he thinks there was another person waiting outside. He said the man took his wallet, which contained about $86.
Although Mosley's injuries were not life-threatening, he spent five days in a local hospital. Most of his external injuries have healed, except for a bruised eye, but Mosley said it will be long time before his emotional wounds heal.
In a town of about 2,700 people, Quitman's recent string of violent robberies has residents on edge and officials concerned about the safety of the town. Members of the board of aldermen and law enforcement officials met Monday after a city official became the latest victim of the robberies.
Latest attack
Robert Donald, a Quitman insurance salesman and city alderman, was hit on the top of the head with a shotgun and a brick bat at about 9 p.m. Saturday night while he was in his camper near the Chickasawhay River. Clarke County Sheriff Todd Kemp said Donald drove himself to the police station after the attack.
Donald remained hospitalized today in stable condition at the University Medical Center in Jackson. He was alone at the time of the attack and, like in Mosley's case, only his wallet was taken.
Kemp said the Clarke County Sheriff's Department and the Quitman Police Department are looking for four black males who are possibly driving an older-model white Cadillac. Kemp said Donald's attack was the third such incident in Clarke County in the past month.
Kemp said he is working with the Quitman Police Department because the incidents have occurred both in the city and the county.
Concerned business owners
Sarah Harvey, owner of Shear Kutz in downtown Quitman, said she is keeping her doors locked during business hours when she is at the store alone, and in the evenings when she has to work late. Harvey's store is across the street from Mosley's house.
Harvey said the latest incidents remind her of when a local woman who rented a space at her beauty salon was attacked by three men, robbed and forced into the trunk of her car in 2001. The woman was discovered shortly after when the driver wrecked her car.
Doris Majure and Joette Smith, owners of Majure's Jewelry in downtown Quitman, said they are afraid and concerned about the recent burglaries. They, however, would not confirm a report that the man who robbed Mosley purchased jewelry at the store.
Krystal Smith, whose parents own J&B Athletic store, said they are taking precautions with the amount of money that is stored on the premises. Smith said she is concerned about the robberies but she refuses to live in fear.