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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A 17-year-old boy is still behind bars after allegedly trying to rob a Wilmington convenience store Wednesday morning. This story sparked a flurry of comments on our website; the most interesting ones coming from the suspect’s own mother who said she raised her son right, but he is making bad decisions. We spoke exclusively with Jaquan Martin and his mom in a story you’ll see “ONLY ON 3.”

“Don’t try to fit in the crowd just because you feel alone. Don’t try to act that way just because you want to be part of something,” said robbery suspect Jaquan Martin from behind the glass at the New Hanover County Jail. “Be your own man. Make your own decisions, or somebody will force you to do something that you know is wrong. Think before you act.”

That’s the advice Martin has after being arrested and jailed for attempting to rob the A&J Food Mart early Wednesday morning.

The robbery didn’t go as planned. Martin was held up by the store clerk, and begged for his life. Martin says he wasn’t in his right mind when he tried to rob the store.

“It was dumb,” Martin admits. “I wasn’t thinking because of the drugs I was on.”

He says he didn’t think about the consequences, but now all he can think about is how he doesn’t want to be behind bars. He said it’s a place he would never wish on anyone.

Among her feelings of sadness, Jaquan’s mom Tamika Beatty said she’s also happy, happy because her son is in jail and not in the ground. She’s thankful the store clerk didn’t kill her son and gave him the opportunity to turn his life around.

“He’s still my son. I still love him,” Beatty said. “Regardless of what type of stuff that he do, I have to continue to love him and nurture him and try to get him to be better in today’s society.”

Martin said he’s got a simple message for his mom and the store clerk.

“I apologize for everything I put you through, all the heartache, all the stress, the pain,” Martin said.

Martin said he used to make good grades and play sports, but then he started doing drugs. Beatty said Martin was an A-B honor roll senior at Laney High School set to graduate this summer, but the possibility of jail time will likely set him back.

In response to the comments about not knowing where her son was at four o’clock in the morning, Beatty said it’s nearly impossible to know where your children are 24/7.

Martin said his mom did raise him with morals, and he’s sorry he made the choices he did that landed him in jail.

Comment on this Story

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    There is a plethora of white sc**bags who will hopefully encounter an armed store clerk or bank manager sooner than later. They ALL deserve to be removed from society, regardless of color.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    I don’t care WHAT happened in his life, there is a line that you do not cross if you have an even rudimentary concept of right and wrong. When a person decides, “I’m going to get a gun, walk into that store and rob them,” there is no way that anyone with a brain can defend his or her actions.

    BTW, rest assured that before God gets to judge him, a jury or judge will. It’s only too bad that the clerk didn’t take actions to avoid that waste of time.

  • That was beautifully stated. We have come too far to sit around and just talk about being discriminated against. Our forefathers not only talked about how to overcome they overcame passing us; their children tne torch to keep fighting. Raising our young girls and boys to be productive women and men, on their knees unceasingly praying that we go down the right path and that the opressoe will not harm us. We can’t go around calling it out if we are not going to do anything about it. The young man in this particular story may be sorry now but who will reach out to him to make sure he knows that he can have a second chance. Surely, whomever does there is NO news agency that will cover that story.

  • GuestUsed2B99x

    Guest 228, you are positively right in your assessment. Attacks against African Americans are palpably more intense than against Whites on this board. Somewhere in this collection of posts an individual claimed that there were also attacks against the White kid who attempted to break into the police officer’s truck. True enough, there were some coarse words but nowhere near the calling to “shoot to kill”. I guess there are those who believe that two wrongs make a right.

    228, you make very legitimate points that racism is alive and well right here in dear old Wilmington. The only argumentation I see here is that some of your opponents shout “racist” back at you, but they epically fail to refute your premise.

    I sometimes wonder how a black person can even retain composure when the logic that the Civil War was fought to protect “states rights” gets spewed. States’ rights to do what? Enslave people??

  • Grand Ole Party

    Some people are flat out racists, but they are aware of it, and hate based on skin color. Others are racists but to ignorant to see it in themselves. You fall under the last catagory. You hate for the same reason you claim to hate them. Most of us see it in your posts, it’s a shame you don’t. Can’t fix it if you are unaware it is broken. We have heard all the cackling a thousand times. The mean ole white man just keeps you down. Anything and everything is everyone elses fault. It’s never to late to stand up and be a man. Give it a try sometime.

  • just sayin

    everybody is making comments about this young man and the things he done. Nobody knows what there situation was and what lead him to doing the things he done. Who are we to judge anybody on their actions!!!! How can you say so much stuff about a person u dont know i mean really. In the end only God can judge him!!!!!

  • Guest3

    “I was raised to believe that excellence is the best deterrent to racism or sexism. And that’s how I operate my life.” – – Oprah Winfrey

    Instead of complaining about racism, which changes nothing, try convincing everyone of your race to strive for excellence in everything they do.

  • Guest20

    And you’re just as racist on your posts about white people, which always appear on these type articles also. You don’t have to be white to be racist.

    Tag…you’re it.

  • Guest228

    A lot of you “bloggers” just sit around and wait on articles from WWAY about black people. You argue how you are so “justified” in your postings about how the clerk should defend himself and his property but however I noticed on the Virginia Tech story where a white man killed an OFFICER of the law, ZERO COMMENTS. Why is that? its crime, right? oh thats right, its a white man so it dosen’t count. He had “problems” I’m sure or needed someone to talk to. Nothing like what black people go through. A white man can go on a shooting spree once again but no outrageous cry of “shoot kim, kill him, etc”..WWAY should do a story on how racist wilmington is. You guys pick and choose only black stories to comment on and express your anger at guns and safety. Whats that old saying about the pot calling the kettle black, it must have originated in Wilmington. (Lets see if Scott will post this comment)

  • deputy 25

    er’ry body finds religion or sympathy in a fox hole!!

  • Speaking The Truth

    Martin was also in a stolen vehicle in 2009 that was involved in an accident that someone was killed in. Even back then his mom didn’t know he wasn’t at school. Sounds like someone isn’t watching their children and they’re letting the streets raise em.

  • Guest55555

    I have a hard time blaming a parent for the actions of a 17 year old. They know right from wrong at that age, and I believe they are accountable for their own actions. The mom was probably asleep when the son slipped out at 4am. A parent’s gotta sleep sometime.

    Some kids, no matter what you do, are gonna do the opposite of what they were taught. It doesn’t necessarily mean she was a bad mom.

    Drugs have been the downfall of many a young man. With all the warnings on TV, in the news, and in schools, why do kids still try drugs this day and time? They always think, “It will never happen to me.”

    Drugs are destroying America and especially the youth. Wake up kids, before you become the next statistic and wind up in the same spot this young man is now in.

  • Guestvnvnvnv

    It would be nice if they did a story on racism, but it would never happen it’s hard to approach the topic of racism without being called a racist in some way. If they did a story and had a black guy tell it, it’s racist. If they had a white guy tell it, its racist. Just like the rest of America they either A.) don’t care B.) look the other way c.) deny it even or D.) all of the above. After reading a few comments on any site even a child can tell you its still a problem.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    First, a single nutjob poses far less a threat over the long term, and to fewer people, than a career felon.

    Second, few people in Wilmington care what’s happening in Blacksburg. What little interest there was ended once the loon blew his brains out.

    I’ll go on record as recommending that store owners immediately engage and kill any armed robber, regardless of color. Trash is trash.

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