Indictments returned in 7-Eleven robbery, kidnapping

Staff Writer
Brownwood Bulletin
Joseph Hardman

The June session of the Brown County Grand Jury returned indictments in connection with the March 2 robbery of a Brownwood convenience store and the kidnapping of a store clerk.

Joseph Hardman, 60, was indicted on charges of, aggravated robbery and aggravated kidnapping, records in Brown County District Clerk Cheryl Jones’ office state.

Additionally, Hardman was indicted on a robbery charge in connection with a Feb. 2 allegation.

Hardman remains jailed in lieu of bonds totaling $382,500, Brown County Jail records state.

According to an earlier email from Brownwood police:

Officers were dispatched at approximately 11:15 p.m.on March 2 to the 7-Eleven store at 1501 Coggin on a robbery report.

Officers arrived and learned from a male employee that an unknown male entered the store and robbed them with an unknown weapon.

The employee said his female co-worker was taken away by the male and taken into the alleyway, walking toward Fifth Street and turning north.

Officer Colby Adams walked into the alleyway while other officers canvased the area in their vehicles.

In the area of Fifth and Avenue E, Adams met up with Cpl. Brandon Johnson and briefed him on the circumstances. Following the short briefing, Adams began walking back to the store while Johnson continued northbound on Fifth.

At this moment, a female was heard screaming, then observed running from an open lot in the 1700 block of Avenue E. As officers approached her, they confirmed she was the store clerk and further observed a male running in the field behind her.

Adams and Johnson chased the man, identified as Hardman, and were able to detain him a short distance later. A communications check revealed Hardman already had a warrant for his arrest out of Pardon and Parole for aggravated robbery. Hardman was arrested on that warrant and also charged in connection with the 7-Eleven robbery, police said.

The female store clerk told police a male she identified as Hardman entered the store and walked behind the counter where she was standing.

The male told the clerk he had a gun on her and grabbed her from behind. The male spoke with the male employee and demanded money and cigarettes.

When this was given, the male continued out the store and into the alleyway toward Fifth Street. The female victim told male he had what he wanted and could let her go, but the male refused.

They made it to the open field and the male forced the female clerk to the ground, and demanded a sexual activity. At this moment, the clerk observed officers in the area, broke free from the male and ran toward the officers.

A gun was not recovered, police said earlier.