FOREST, Va. (WFXR) — Real estate agents getting attacked does happen, but it’s rare.
“It was disturbing,” said Walter Grewe, President of the Roanoke Valley Association of Realtors. “It was like a punch to the gut to hear that something like that had occurred to one of our members.”
The Bedford County Sheriff’s Office says dispatch received a call at 1:53 p.m. on Saturday, June 20, about a person being assaulted. Authorities say real estate agent Lenora Farrington was hosting an open house in Bedford County when a man attacked her. She is now being treated at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
Grewe says this has brought about a new focus on safety among agents in the area.
“We try to get people to come to the office before we ever show them houses. Have a buddy with you if you’re going out to meet someone you’ve never met before, and have a buddy with you if you’re doing an open house.”
Bedford County Sheriff Mike Miller says he is also reaching out to local realtors.
“We will be setting down with real estate agents and looking over what they can do, their dos and their don’ts. Maybe we’ll be able to incorporate some more of that into this county.”
It’s an attack that’s resonating with the community.
“This particular incident was a shock,” said Wes Vance, the Commonwealth’s Attorney of Bedford, “not only to the community but to veteran law enforcement. Officers, deputies, and investigators as well. It is a highly unusual incident for this jurisdiction or for any jurisdiction.”
Authorities arrested 34-year-old Dustin Holdren of Roanoke for aggravated malicious wounding on Sunday, June 21, in connection with Farrington’s assault. However, the sheriff’s office said Sunday more charges may be pending.
WFXR News found Holdren has an extensive criminal history — with 49 charges over the past 15 years, largely for theft, drunk driving, and drugs — and reached out to Holdren’s attorney, who was not available for comment.
As of 5:20 a.m. on Tuesday, June 23, a GoFundMe for Farrington’s medical bills and other financial concerns has raised more than $119,000 of its $250,000 goal.
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