Blind Man Reported Missing in Charlotte is Found Safe in New Jersey

From, December 29, 2011

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Charlotte-Mecklenburg police announced Thursday evening a blind man who had been missing for nearly two weeks has been found alive and safe.

Blind man missing for 2 weeks finally found

Mitchell Smith

Mitchell Smith was taking a train to Birmingham, Alabama on December 16.  According to police, he got off the train in Charlotte and didn’t return when it left for Alabama.

His D.C. area family had no’t heard from him since but Smith, who is legally blind in both eyes and uses a cane, purchased a return ticket to Newark, New Jersey on December 17.

A New Jersey Transit Police Officer helped Smith into a cab, but it’s unclear when exactly he returned to New Jersey or why he was going there.  Smith was initially headed to Alabama to visit family during the holidays.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has closed the case.

Published in: on December 29, 2011 at 6:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

CMPD Searching for Blind Man Reported as Missing

Charlotte police search for missing blind man

Mitchell Smith

From, December 23, 2011 by NewsChannel 36 Staff

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are asking for help to find a man who vanished in Charlotte while on his way to Alabama.

Mitchell Smith was taking a train to Birmingham on December 16th.  According to police, he got off the train in Charlotte and didn’t return when it left for Alabama.

His family hasn’t heard from him since.  Smith is legally blind in both eyes and carries a red and white cane.  Smith has a scar on the right side of his head near his eye and occasionally wears dark glasses.

If you’ve seen him you are asked to call 911 immediately.

Published in: on December 24, 2011 at 12:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

Man and Woman Injured in Christmas Eve Morning Shooting in Their West Charlotte Home

From, Posted: 7:34 am EST December 24, 2011

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police are on the scene of a shooting at a home on Taylor Avenue in West Charlotte.

The shooting happened around 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning.

Police tell Eyewitness News a man and woman were shot inside of the home.

One of the victims has serious injuries. The other has minor injuries.

Our crew on the scene saw several emotional family members arrive at the home after the shooting.

Investigators are now questioning several suspects that were taken into custody.

Police have not released a motive for the shooting.

Published in: on December 24, 2011 at 12:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

East Charlotte Family Dollar Scene of Armed Robbery, Shooting

by DIANNE GALLAGHER / NewsChannel 36, December 23, 2011
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Family Dollar employee was shot in the leg Friday night in an armed robbery, according to witnesses. It happened at the store located at 4130 East WT Harris Boulevard. An employee on scene told NewsChannel 36 that several men robbed the store.

Shoppers there to get last minute, inexpensive gifts said they were surprised and frightened by the gunshots.

“We had our four-month-old child with us,” said Angela Taylor, who had just left the store. “I thought it seemed kind of sketchy, but wanted to get some stocking stuffers.”

More than a dozen officers combed the area around the store in the hours after the robbery. Police did not release any details about the incident, citing the ongoing investigation, except that they expect the victim to recover.

Published in: on December 24, 2011 at 11:54 am  Leave a Comment  

Pre-Dawn Fights Breakout at South Park, Carolina Place, North Lake Malls Over “Air Jordan” Shoes

From The Charlotte Observer of December 23, 2011 by Steve Lyttle

Police and Medic were called to three Charlotte-area malls before daybreak Friday, after shoppers seeking Air Jordan shoes became unruly.

At least one fight broke out inside Carolina Place Mall in Pineville, according to video shot by one Charlotte TV station. Problems also were reported at SouthPark Mall and Northlake Mall in Charlotte.

The problems surrounded today’s re-release of the Air Jordan XI Concord shoes, which were originally released in 1996. The shoes, with a listed sales price of $180, have been a hot item among shoppers, with people standing in line for 24 hours in some places around the country.


Air Jordan XI Concord

Police radio reports Friday morning indicated unruly shoppers at all three malls, but the biggest problem appeared to be at Carolina Place, where Medic units were called.

The mall opened its doors about 5 a.m., and several shoppers said there were between 150 and 200 people, some with children, standing in line at that point. According to several shoppers and TV video coverage from WBTV, pushing and shoving soon broke out. WBTV coverage shoes two women pushing one another before being separated by police.

By 6 a.m., shoppers said police and mall management told them to leave.
At least a dozen Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Pineville police cars were parked at the mall. There also were reports of heavy police presence at SouthPark and Northlake malls, and WSOC-TV reported that Northlake Mall asked shoppers to leave.

SouthPark Mall was cleared by police about 6 a.m.

Medic reported nobody needed transportation to any hospitals.

Management at the malls could not be contacted early Friday morning.



Published in: on December 23, 2011 at 8:36 am  Leave a Comment  

3 Rock Hill Women Charged in Violent Home Invasion

Victims: Man Stripped Naked, Tied-up While Boiling Water and Bleach was Poured Over His Head; Woman Sexually Assaulted

From The Rock Hill Herald of December 20, 2011 by Nicole Smith

ROCK HILL — Police have arrested three women believed to be involved in a violent home invasion earlier this year at a Rock Hill apartment. During the break-in, a woman was raped and a man was assaulted before thieves left with stolen electronics and money.

Marianna Sheree Howard, 21
Ashley Nicole Nelson, 20
Kearanee Chadron Brewton, 21

Kearanee Chadron Brewton, 21, Marianna Sheree Howard, 21, and Ashley Nicole Nelson, 20, all of Rock Hill, have been charged with armed robbery, burglary, two counts of kidnapping and two counts of criminal conspiracy, according to Rock Hill police documents.

The charges stem from a May 23 break-in. Two women allegedly knocked on the door at a Gable Oaks apartment on Patriot Parkway around 11 p.m., saying their car had broken down, according to a Rock Hill police report. Once the couple let them inside, a man followed, pointing a gun at the man and hitting him in the head.

One of the suspects then said, “Don’t y’all got some money in here? Where is the money?”

The man was tied up and stripped naked while the suspects poured hot water and bleach on him, the report states. One of the suspects then raped the woman, the report states.

The two male suspects stayed in the house for several hours searching for money, and eventually left with two flat-screen televisions and two cell phones, the report states. They left through the back door.

A neighbor heard the victims scream for help and called police, the report states. He found the man tied up and cut him loose.

The three women were arrested Monday.

Last month, Darius Leander Wilson, 37, of Timmonsville was also arrested in connection to the incident, according to reports. He was charged with armed robbery, criminal sexual conduct, burglary, two counts of kidnapping, criminal conspiracy and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

Wilson was located and arrested by Mullins Police Department. He was identified through a photo line up and transported to Rock Hill Police Department shortly after. He is currently in Moss Justice Center.


Published in: on December 21, 2011 at 1:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

CMPD Searching for Xbox Thieves

From By Tyler Morton, Producer, December 21, 2011

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police tell us they are looking for three men who walked out of a Best Buy with thousands of dollars worth of stolen equipment.







Surveillance pictures given to us by investigators show four men walking out of the Best Buy near North Lake Mall in the University City area.

In one of the pictures, you can see a man wearing a Harding High School sweatshirt.

Nearly $1,400 worth of Xbox 360 equipment was taken from the store, according to police.

CMPD also gave us a picture of a car in the parking lot they believe the four suspects were driving. It is a silver Chevy Cruze sedan.

If you recognize the men in the pictures you are urged to call Crimestoppers at (704) 334-1600.

Published in: on December 21, 2011 at 12:40 pm  Comments (2)  

CMPD Seeking Man Wanted for Radio Shack Armed Robbery

Store Located at 5622 East Independence Blvd. is Just 1.97 Miles From Stonehaven

From by Caryn Little, and, December 12, 2011

The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 6’ tall, thin build, in his early 20’s. He is clean shaven and has short hair. He was wearing a black zip-up sweatshirt or light jacket, faded blue jeans, black shoes and a black baseball cap with an Atlanta Braves “A” on the front. The suspect was armed with a small silver semi-auto handgun.

To view a slide-show of the suspect in this incident, copy and paste the link below into your web-browser:

If you can help police identify this suspect, please call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

Published in: on December 16, 2011 at 11:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sexual Assault Suspect Questioned Between Attacks

From The Charlotte Observer of December 16, 2011 by Meghan Cooke

A man accused of sexually assaulting two women Thursday morning was questioned by police and released just hours before he assaulted a third woman, investigators said.

But Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said they didn’t immediately press charges against the suspect, 31-year-old Lavatae Evans, after the first attack because of inconsistencies in statements given to investigators.


Lavatae Evans, 31. Photo courtesy of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office.

Just before 6 a.m. Thursday, police received a report of a possible sexual assault at a hotel on Equipment Drive, off West Sugar Creek Road near Interstate 85.

Police said two women – a 19-year-old and a 20-year-old – voluntarily went to the hotel with Evans but were later sexually assaulted at gunpoint. The women sustained minor injuries, according to a police report.

Police said at least one of the victims identified her attacker, and officers found Evans at the hotel.

Evans voluntarily came to the Law Enforcement Center for questioning, said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Maj. Vicki Foster. At the time, Evans was not in custody nor under arrest, she said.

Records show Evans, a convicted felon, has been arrested several times in Mecklenburg County. More than a decade ago, he was arrested in connection with a 1997 incident and charged with first-degree rape of a child, first-degree sex offense against a child, kidnapping and robbery. The rape and kidnapping charges were dismissed, records show, but he was convicted on the robbery charge. For the sex offense, he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge: felony crime against nature.

Foster said Evans was cooperative Thursday morning and that investigators interviewed him for about an hour.

But police said they found inconsistencies in statements they’d received, and detectives went to an area hospital to meet with the victims in order to clarify information.

Police didn’t elaborate on the nature of those inconsistencies.

Evans hadn’t asked to leave the Law Enforcement Center, Foster said, but police allowed him to go around 8:20 a.m.

Then, between about 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m., police said, Evans ran into his third victim, an 18-year-old woman, on a bus when she asked him for directions to the SouthPark area. It’s unclear whether he’d previously met the young woman.

Evans offered to help, but then they got off the bus along Oaklawn Avenue just north of uptown, not far from his home on Brewton Drive, police said.

Evans told her he needed to talk to someone, police said, and she waited outside on the steps of his home while he went inside. When he returned, he pulled her inside, forced her into a bedroom at knifepoint and then forced her to perform a sex act, according to police. She received a minor knife wound to her hand during the attack.

She called for help just before noon – about 45 minutes after Foster said police were signing warrants for Evans’ arrest in connection with the earlier sex assaults.

He was arrested Thursday afternoon following a 25-minute standoff with police at his home.

He’s now facing multiple charges, including first-degree sex offenses, kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon, in connection with the assaults of all three women. He remained in Mecklenburg jail Friday under a $830,000 bond.

In a statement released Thursday, police said Evans assaulted the third woman while officers were attempting to locate him.

On Friday, the Observer and other local media received an anonymous email message that said police had questioned Evans after the initial assaults and then released him. Police held a press conference Friday afternoon to explain the investigation.

Foster said that as a result of the inconsistent statements, police didn’t have sufficient evidence to charge Evans while he was at the Law Enforcement Center. She said investigators can’t rely only on a victim pointing out a suspect to make an arrest.

“We have to do an investigation,” she said. “We want to be fair to both parties.”

Foster said Evans was free to leave at any time, but cooperated in the investigation. She said officers had his address and believed they’d be able to find him if charges were later filed.

“The best we could do was try to verify the information,” Foster said.

Dr. Paul Friday, a professor of criminal justice and criminology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, explained that once authorities take a person into custody, they must file charges within 24 hours.

“They’ll take someone into custody and won’t let them leave if they believe they can gather enough evidence – probable cause – to get a warrant for his arrest,” Friday said. “If they didn’t have enough to piece it together, then they technically couldn’t arrest him.”

He said it appears police followed procedure.

He said the criminal justice system upholds individual rights and works to prevent people from being detained unnecessarily.

“It’s a cost of having a democratic criminal justice system,” he said. “Nobody likes these things to happen. Some people slip through the cracks. But I don’t know a way to caulk the cracks without creating an oppressive society.” Staff writer Gary L. Wright and staff researcher Maria David contributed.

Published in: on December 16, 2011 at 10:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

New Curfew Law Goes Into Effect in Charlotte

From by Dedrick Russell, Reporter, December 15, 2011

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – If you are younger than 15 years old and want to hang out late, think again.  A new curfew time is now in effect.

Kids 12 years and under have to be inside by 10 PM.

If they are between 13-15 years old the curfew time is 11 PM.

Also changing is the age of the guardian who must be with a teenager when out after curfew.  Before the age was 18 now the chaperone has to be 21.

Before the law allowed teens to stay out an hour later.

“I think it should have been done years ago,” Parent Rocky Novellina said. “I don’t know what the city was waiting for.”

A recent shooting and death and hundreds of teenagers running around downtown back in May put the curfew change on the fast track.  City officials and police believe this will help keep teenagers out of harm’s way.

Police say they will enforce this new rule very reasonably.

“We’re not going to be going into neighborhoods and picking up kids that are in front of their houses congregating or at locations that are safe for them. It’s only those environments where we think harm can come to our kids and we have rules to apply it” said Charlotte Police Chief Rodney Monroe.

Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Cannon wanted the law to include 16 and 17 year olds.  He says state law prevented that from happening, but he says he’s not giving up that fight.

“I still want to make sure we pursue the conversation with our delegation,” Cannon said. “And any others who want to help us to see if we can increase that age limit to 16 and 17, because we know there is a serious problem there.”

Published in: on December 15, 2011 at 6:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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