November 10, 2004 – Posted at 4:38 p.m. CST
JONESBORO – An Arkansas State University Professor and his mother are safe after a vicious attack in their home on East Matthews.
Students describe marketing and management instructor Clint Relyea as kind, and many call him by his first name. But one of his former students took advantage of his trusting spirit.
Relyea and his mother were at home Halloween night. Shortly after 11 p.m., someone knocked on Relyea's door, forcing their way into the home.
"They had guns in their hands and came in and made me get on the floor and tied me up with a cable behind my back," said Relyea.
Thieves didn't know his ill 68-year-old mother was in the back of the house, but when they found out they spared her no mercy.
"They brought her out and tied her in this chair," said Relyea. His mother was also blindfolded with TV cables.
The intruders ransacked the house for 4 hours and took everything from computers to toilet paper to the spice rack in the kitchen.
The theives allegedly bound Relyea, putting a ski mask over his head, and put him in the backseat of his car. They drove to an ATM and took $700 dollars from his bank account.
Relyea and his mother say they are both still shaken up by the incident, but still believe the good in people. Clint's devoted group of friends refuse to let this rare incident sour the professor's good spirit.
"He was always here for us, we're just trying to return the favor," said ASU Marketing Instructor Christy Valentine.
Friends have been coming over to visit Clint and his mom everyday. In fact, some of them spend the night. Support is coming from everywhere.
"The support is almost overwhelming. I can't walk across campus or go across town without somebody stopping me. I get hugs at the post office," said Relyea.