Chatham County woman recalls being held hostage with her 2 grandchildren

CBS North Carolina reporter Amy Cutler listens to the Chatham County grandmother talk about the hostage ordeal.

STALEY, N.C. (WNCN) — A Chatham County grandmother is still shaken up after a suspect broke into her home and held her and her two grandchildren hostage.

She asked that CBS North Carolina not identify her.

“He started beating on the door. ‘Let me in, let me in.’ I said, ‘I don’t know you, I can’t let you in’,” the victim said.


The 68-year-old grandmother was recounting her terrifying ordeal.

With the suspect, James Hayes II, 40, at the door with a knife, she called 911.

The terrifying incident happened exactly a week ago on January 5 off Charlie Cooper Road in Staley.

“He done pushed so hard or kicked the door in — when he came in, he went straight to the drawers in the kitchen,” the victim said.

She said Hayes took out three knives and directed her to hang up on the 911 dispatcher.

Her 7- and 9-year-old grandchildren were nearby.

Deputies with the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office soon arrived and it quickly became a hostage situation — with Hayes refusing to leave, officials said

“He said ‘I got children that’s why I’m not going to hurt you and your children.’ I said well, ‘why don’t you let us go out’ and he shook his head, no,” the grandmother said.

It went on for 45 minutes, until Hayes let the three of them leave.

“When he came around that curve, this is the house he seen. And I believe that’s why he came here,” the victim said. “You really don’t know what a person is thinking,” she went on to explain.

Hayes has been charged with second-degree kidnapping, common law robbery, breaking and entering, possession of stolen goods/ property, interfering with emergency communication, and injury to real property.

His bond set at $100,000 secured and he is due in court January 29.

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