When 30-year-old Christopher Hedrick stopped at the Circle K in Claremont with two friends on July 14, he never thought he’d be hit with a rock.

“It was about 2 a.m. The two friends he was with wanted to stop for cigarettes,” Summer Hedrick, Christopher Hedrick’s wife, said.

Christopher Hedrick stayed in the truck while his friends went inside. Soon, the friends returned to the vehicle. As they drove off, a large rock struck Christopher Hedrick on the side of his head.

“When his friends came out, they saw a man at a car and he had the hood up,” Summer Hedrick said.

According to Summer Hedrick, there wasn’t a dispute. She can’t think of any reason why the man would throw a rock at the men, let alone her husband.

“He can’t even describe what the guy looked like,” Summer Hedrick said.

One of the friends lives about two miles from the Circle K, so they waited until they arrived at the house safely to call the police.

It didn’t take long for authorities to track down and arrest 47-year-old Michael Lee Duncan Jr. of Newton.

Upon arrest, Duncan was charged with one felony count of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, according to court documents. He posted a $7,500 secured bond and was released from custody.

Meanwhile, Christopher Hedrick was in the intensive care unit (ICU) at Wake Forest Medical Center in Winston-Salem. His injuries were too severe for Catawba Valley Medical Center to treat, Summer Hedrick said.

“(Duncan) is just out about living life while my husband was in the hospital,” Summer Hedrick said.

The 2 to 3 pound rock fractured Christopher Hedrick’s jaw, cheekbone and skull. He also suffered a brain bleed, which cleared up on its own in a few days, Summer Hedrick added.

Christopher Hedrick is now back at home after a two-day stay in the ICU. He’s finding out this week when he’ll have surgery to fix his jaw and cheekbone.

“He can’t even eat normal food,” Summer Hedrick said. “... I don’t know when he’ll go back to work and we have two kids.”

Duncan is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law; however, Summer Hedrick wants the public to know what happened to her husband.

“(My husband) is lucky to be alive,” she said.

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Jordan Hensley is the court reporter at the Hickory Daily Record. ​

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