A harrowing and bloody ordeal ended for a Wayne County woman Saturday morning in the public restroom at Neptune Park on St. Simons Island, where she managed to get word to police that her estranged husband had stabbed her and was holding her hostage, according to authorities.
Glynn County Police spotted the man standing behind bushes and smoking a cigarette near the St. Simons Pier at around 7:30 a.m., according to a county police report. The suspect allegedly tried to walk away as the officer approached him, but he was apprehended.
County police held Anton Beal for Wayne County authorities, Wayne County Sheriff John G. Carter said. Beal, 51, of Jesup is being held in the Wayne County Jail for violation of temporary protection order, Carter said. Warrants are pending for additional charges of criminal attempt to commit murder, aggravated assault, aggravated sodomy, kidnapping, false imprisonment and possession of a knife in the commission of a felony, Carter said.
Beal allegedly broke the temporary protection order Thursday, going to the woman’s residence in Odum in rural Wayne County and taking her hostage by force. He took her into the woods near Odum, where he stabbed her several times that night, Carter said.
Beal allegedly continued to hold the woman hostage, eventually taking her to the Pier Village area Saturday morning. Beal allegedly waited in hiding while the woman went to the restroom at nearby Neptune Park, according to the county police report. The woman reached out to a passerby and told him of her plight.
That good Samaritan in turn contacted Glynn County Police officer A. DeBruijn, the county police report said. “He advised me that there was a ... woman inside the bathroom that stated she had been stabbed by her husband,” the report said. “He advised me that the alleged husband was standing close to the pier behind bushes smoking a cigarette.”
While the man remained outside the restroom guarding the woman, officer DeBruijn approached Beal, the report said. Beal allegedly “began to walk away” but was apprehended by county police. Glynn County Fire Department EMTs transported the woman to Southeast Georgia Health System’s Brunswick hospital for treatment of her wounds.
Wayne County deputies arrived later and took custody of Beal, Carter said. Carter said he was grateful to Glynn County police for their assistance.
“Glynn County Police got him, and they got her the help she needed,” Carter said Monday. “We always appreciate help from a neighboring law enforcement agency. We want to thank them for their assistance in the apprehension of Anton Beal.”
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with additional information is asked to call the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office at 912-427-5970, or the county’s nonemergency dispatch number at 912-427-5992.