Midlands couple says they were attacked and robbed after traffic incident

Updated: Apr. 14, 2021 at 7:40 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A Saturday afternoon drive on April 10 ended with one young man in the hospital, and his girlfriend with a broken tooth. The couple says they were attacked by people from another vehicle.

“It was such a loud smack when my boyfriend hit the ground,” said Elena Vawter “The scream was so horrendous, I thought he had been shot.”

Vawter says she was a victim of an attack that left her with multiple injuries to her face, and her boyfriend with muscle, nerve, ligament damage and more.

“He punched me in the mouth, and I believe, from what I remember, the woman punched me a couple of times,” Vawter said. “She couldn’t get my phone from me, so her boyfriend wrestled it from me and threw me on the ground.”

Vawter’s boyfriend, Bron Cornett, is now recovering at the hospital.

He says this all started when the people in the other car cut him off in traffic.

At the next light, the driver in the other car motioned for him to pull over in a nearby Dollar Tree parking lot. Cornett thought the man wanted to check for vehicle damage in case they’d sideswiped each other to exchange insurance information.

“He immediately gets out of his car, takes his shirt off, talking all this blah blah blah, calling me racial slurs,” Cornett said. “I’m walking around to take a picture of his license plate, that’s when his girl decided to snatch my phone out of my hand, and then that’s when he decided to come up behind me and try to attack me.”

Vawter and Cornett say during the scuffle, the two people from the other vehicle wrestled their phones away from them and drove away.

A witness who spoke with WIS confirmed the couple’s account of events, and says he fears what would have happened if weapons had been involved.

“One of the victims, he was on the ground, they started attacking , attacking his girlfriend,” he said. “I watched him punch her in the face.”

The pair in the other vehicle eventually drove away, and now Vawter and Cornett are hoping to heal, and looking for justice.

“I’m constantly in pain now,” Cornett said. “I don’t know if my leg’s going to be the same ever again.”

The incident report from the Richland County Sheriff’s Department lists this as an active case, and investigators are looking for the people involved.

Vawter and Cornett say their iPhones are still missing, and reported damage to their vehicle. The victims say the other pair were riding in a newer C-Class white Mercedes.

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