TN woman says she was attacked while trying to buy gift - WSMV Channel 4

Hendersonville woman says she was attacked while trying to buy gift

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Shawna Belcher says she was attacked while trying to buy a gift for a family member. Shawna Belcher says she was attacked while trying to buy a gift for a family member.
Michael Brinkley is wanted in connection to the case. Michael Brinkley is wanted in connection to the case.
HENDERSONVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Shawna Belcher is still coming to grips with what happened when she thought she was going to buy a Christmas gift Sunday afternoon.

"I think I would understand it more if it was someone random," she said.

Belcher says a co-worker connected her with Michael Brinkley, who happened to be a family member.

"I had been looking for this game station everywhere. It was a gift I really wanted to get for family member, so we had arranged to meet," she said.

Shortly after Belcher pulled into the parking lot, she says things turned violent.

"Demanded that I pull around to the back, said that he was armed," she said.

Once around back of the strip mall, Belcher says Brinkley got violent.

"He ended up putting his hands around my throat and choking me and asking me for my money," she said.

Belcher says eventually she handed over the money, and Brinkley got out and took off.

Police say with the start of the holiday shopping season, it's important to take special precaution when buying things from others.

"Meet somewhere in public ... where there are people present so that you can call for help," said Hendersonville Police Detective Jason Steffy, who also warns not to go alone.

Belcher says even if you know the seller, beware of the deal.

"If someone has something you are looking for and you can't find it but they say they can and they're offering it at a cheaper price - it sounds too good to be true, it probably is," she said.

Police are still looking for Brinkley and say he may be staying in Gallatin, Hendersonville or Nashville. He's suspected of having gang ties.

If you know where to find him, contact the Hendersonville Police Department.

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