CMPD Investigating Brazen Daylight Shooting at Providence / Olde Providence Roads

From http://www.charlotte.news14.com, by Kate Gaier

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police are looking for what they call, a “brazen” shooting suspect. The suspect fired several bullets into an occupied vehicle, hitting one man in the chest, in broad day light.

It happened on Olde Providence Road, near the intersection with Providence Friday afternoon.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Police searched for the person who filled a blue sedan with bullet holes. The back and side windows were shot out, and a front tire flattened, in the shooting.

Capt. Jim Wilson said the shooting happened a few blocks away, on Old Providence Road before noon on Friday.

“It’s very rare for this sort of thing to happen in this area,” said Captain Wilson. The apartment complex itself is a nice quiet complex. Something as brazen as this to happen in broad day light.”

Three people were in the car outside of an apartment complex when another car pulled up alongside them. Police said someone in that car, armed with a handgun, told them to get out.

“There was some sort of conversation that took place and then the suspect shot several times into the vehicle,” said Wilson.

Wilson says one person was shot in the chest but was able to drive to the gas station at the corner, where they called for help. They were rushed to the hospital, the condition of the man shot in the chest was not immediately known.

Police canvassed the area, interviewed witnesses, and say the shooting doesn’t appear random. They were given a vague description of the suspect.

Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

Published in: on June 30, 2012 at 12:15 am  Leave a Comment  

Autopsy: Flying Biscuit Cafe Manager Stabbed 14 Times

From The Charlotte Observer by Meghan Cooke, June 29, 2012

An autopsy reveals that pregnant restaurant manager Danielle Watson was stabbed more than a dozen times before her death in January.

Watson, 25, was closing the Flying Biscuit Café on Rea Road in Charlotte on the night of Jan. 13 when she was attacked by a co-worker as he tried to rob the restaurant, police said. Mark Cox, a 22-year-old convicted felon, was charged with Watson’s murder and that of her unborn child.

Danielle Watson

Mark Cox

 

In the autopsy released this week, a medical examiner details 14 cuts and stab wounds on her neck, chest, abdomen and hands. Two such wounds – one on her neck and one on her chest – were described as having the “potential to be rapidly lethal.”

The medical examiner also noted a black apron that was found about her head. “The apron tie strings have been wrapped around the head, passed across the mouth in a gag fashion and are tied on the left side of the face,” the examiner wrote.

The autopsy found Watson’s cause of death to be stab wounds to the neck and chest.

According to a search warrant, Cox told his sister that he’d killed Watson, then left his bloody clothes and a butcher knife in his sister’s apartment before fleeing.

In May, prosecutors announced they plan to seek the death penalty against Cox.

Watson, a Butler High School grad, was engaged and had learned only weeks before her death that she was pregnant.

Her autopsy confirmed she was seven to eight weeks pregnant.

Published in: on June 29, 2012 at 11:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

CMPD Chaplains Told to Stop Praying in Jesus’ Name

From The New American Magazine, June 25, 2012

The Charlotte, North Carolina, police department has made it clear that Jesus is not welcome at its functions.

According to the Associated Press, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) has informed its volunteer chaplains that they are not to mention Jesus’ name when they pray at official ceremonies.

The Charlotte Observer reported that the new policy was announced by the head of the department’s volunteer chaplain program, Major John Diggs, who explained that the goal was to make sure the chaplains were sensitive to the variety of religions practiced by the department’s more than 2,000 employees. “This is not in any way an effort to demean anybody’s Christian beliefs,” Diggs assured. “It’s to show respect for all the religious practices in our organization. The CMPD is not anybody’s church.”

Apparently, some chaplains, most of whom represent the Christian faith, think the new policy is too restrictive. Terry Sartain, a volunteer CMPD police chaplain for the past seven years, said he got the news shortly before he was to give the invocation at a promotions ceremony last month. When he was told not to use Jesus’ name in his prayer, he asked to be excused from the event.

Sartain, who pastors Charlotte’s Horizon Christian Fellowship, told the Observer that “Jesus is all I’ve got for a blessing. Now I’ve got to find a balance. I want to serve the officers and their families and I don’t want to jam my beliefs down anybody’s throat, but I won’t deny Jesus.”

Diggs insisted that chaplains such as Sartain, who have strong convictions about their faith, won’t be required to compromise their beliefs on behalf of the department. He said there are enough volunteer ministers to cover the now-secularized events at which police chaplains are called to officiate.

But according to the Blaze, Sartain was told that his decision not to attend and pray at the event would harm his standing as a police chaplain. In the end, while he did not change his mind about praying at the government function, Sartain said that he decided to continue as a CMPD chaplain because the spiritual service he provides to law enforcement officers is important.

The Charlotte Observer noted that earlier this year the U.S. Supreme Court backed a lower court ruling that banned North Carolina’s Forsyth County from opening its meetings with sectarian prayer. The move to ban mostly Christian prayers in favor of a “non-sectarian” invocation has been increasing across the nation and even in the U.S. military, the paper observed.

Diggs said that the CMPD currently has six chaplains who serve police employees who may be Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or, perhaps, have no faith at all. Chaplains are now expected to pray in such a way that will offend no one.

Some Charlotte clergy fully support the move, emphasizing that the police chaplains must be prepared to serve those who do not embrace Christianity. The Rev. Dennis Foust, pastor of St. John’s Baptist Church in Charlotte, said that the police department is simply directing its Christian chaplains “to observe the same practices we would desire and respect from Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, or Hindu chaplains. When we gather as citizens, we do not gather in the name of Jesus. Our prayers are offered to God with respect for the first clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”

Foust was mouthing the mantra, popularized by the ACLU, that there is a supposed wall of separation that bars religious (usually Christian) sentiments from blending with public, government-controlled forums. Jim Gronquist, a former Methodist minister who now works as an ACLU attorney to stamp out religious expression, told local Charlotte television station WSOC that “it’s past time when they should’ve made a policy” banning real prayer at CMPD police events.

But another local minister, the Rev. Russ Dean of the city’s Park Road Baptist Church, appeared to side with Sartain, wondering, “How else do you expect Baptists to pray” but in Jesus’ name? Dean told the Charlotte Observer that chaplains of all faiths — whether they are rabbis, imams, or Christian ministers — ought to be allowed to pray according to the dictates of their own faiths. But under the CMPD’s politically correct policy “we are really asking people of diverse faiths to become a part of some homogenized pseudo-faith, a public religion that is offensive to all because it attempts to offend none,” he said.

Sartain told Fox News that the CMPD policy “brings about a very real concern about where we are heading as a nation. I serve a God who loves people unconditionally, who died for their sins on the cross, who wants to reconcile himself to them and love them where they are … and now I’m told I can’t bless people as a result of that.”

The Christian chaplain emphasized that while he would honor the new policy by opting out of praying at public events, when relating one-on-one with police officers, he would continue to give them the full Christian treatment he is called by God to provide. “They know when I ride with them that I love them for who they are,” Sartain said of the officers.

Published in: on June 28, 2012 at 3:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

Family Dollar at Independence Blvd. and Idlewild Rd. Robbed

From www.wcnc.com by Ryan Wixted, June 28, 20

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are asking for the public’s help identifying a man who robbed a Family Dollar store in east Charlotte on Sunday.

Police said a man robbed the Family Dollar on East Independence Boulevard on Sunday.
The suspect is described as a black male, in his mid 20’s, about 5-foot-10 with a thin build, dark skin and short hair. The suspect was last seen wearing a black t-shirt and blue pants.
If anyone has information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers with any information about this case at 704-334-1600.
Published in: on June 28, 2012 at 11:13 am  Leave a Comment  

CMPD Officer Returns Fire, Wounds Home-Invasion Suspect; Five People Arrested

From http://www.wcnc.com, June 27, 2012

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Five people have been charged after police say a robbery suspect and a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer exchanged gunfire early Wednesday morning.

The shooting happened around 12:45 a.m. when police responded to a breaking and entering call in the 400 block of West Avenue near Toddville Road.

Investigators said when they arrived on scene there were three men standing outside near a car, along with a man, a woman and baby inside another car.  One of the men, Christopher Michael Fortson, ran from police, officials said.

According to police, Officer Joshua Baswell chased after Fortson, who then turned and fired a shot at Officer Baswell. That’s when Officer Baswell returned fire and hit Fortson.

Officer shoots burglary suspect; 5 charged

“Officer Baswell fired two times, hitting the suspect twice in the lower extremities,” said CMPD chief Rodney Monroe.  “They’re (a) group of individuals that (we’ve) been watching over a while. Looks like we’re going to finally be able to get them off the street.”

Fortson was taken into custody and transported to the hospital where he went into surgery.  He has been charged with shooting at a law enforcement officer, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit robbery, armed robbery and first-degree burglary.

Four other people face charges related to the incident as well.

Ryan Michael Sumpter, 21, Ryan Christopher Munsey, 20, and Irving Alfonso Lopez, 21, were each charged with conspiracy to commit robbery, armed robbery and first-degree burglary.  Bridget Nicole Bowen, 17, was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery.

Ryan Munsey

Ryan Sumpter

Irving Lopez

Christopher Fortson

“He’s lucky that he’s not dead.  I mean, you just can’t (shoot at an officer),” added Monroe about Fortson.  “We did recover a firearm that we believe was used in the shooting,”

Officer Baswell has been with CMPD since 2010.  He is now on administrative leave, which is standard procedure in an officer-involved shooting.

Police are still investigating what happened. Anyone with information is asked to call 704-432-TIPS or Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

Published in: on June 27, 2012 at 10:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

CMPD Says Nurse’s Quick Thinking During Attack Saved Her Life

From http://www.news14.com by Elise Roberts, June 27, 2012

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say quick thinking by a nurse outside Presbyterian Hospital may have kept her alive.

“She did the right thing. I always tell people never leave the initial scene with anybody because if they want your car, your phone, your money, let them have it. They don’t need you,” said Bob Fey with CMPD.

The nurse was attacked in the hospital employee parking lot as she walked to her car early Wednesday morning. It was the end of her shift and police say the suspect probably thought the woman would be an easy target.

“This is most likely what you are going to call a crime of opportunity,” said Fey. “This guy had just been waiting across the street a little bit further away from the hospital and to see if he could get somebody who he thought was not paying attention.”

Police say the woman refused to get in the car with the man. That’s when he stabbed her several times in her shoulder. The nurse fought him off and ran back to the hospital. Self-defense experts say it was the smartest move she could have made.

“Usually when someone wants you to go somewhere with them, it becomes a second crime scene and that second crime is usually homicide. It’s just not good,” said Ed Byers a self-defense expert.

Byers says you can do things to protect yourself like taking a self-defense class. He also recommends having your keys and pepper spray handy so that you are prepared to defend yourself. He said you should always be aware of your surroundings.

Officials say the nurse is expected to recover from her injuries.

If you have any information on the suspect’s whereabouts, you are asked to call Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police.

Published in: on June 27, 2012 at 9:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

CMPD Investigating Second Attack at Presbyterian Hospital

From http://www.wsoctv.com, June 27, 2012

Less than 24 hours after a Presbyterian Hospital nurse was attacked in a parking lot, police say a second employee was attacked in a parking deck.

The incident happened around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. According to hospital officials, the woman was pushed down a flight of stairs in the parking deck.

The hospital issued a statement Wednesday night saying it had stepped up security patrols.

“It is with great concern that Presbyterian Hospital has learned another employee has been assaulted in the employee level stariwell of the hospital parking garage. Thankfully the employee escaped injury. We are working with Charlotte-Mecklenburg police. We have increased security and are are escorting staff to their cars. We are requesting that anyone with information concerning these attacks to please call Charlotte-Mecklenburg police,” the statement read.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have not commented on the extent of the woman’s injuries, but the hospital said she was not injured.

The mother of the woman injured said her daughter was walking down a flight of stairs when the attack happened. She said hospital staffers checked her and will be sending her home at some point during the night.

Neither her identity or position at the hospital has been released.

Police officers are still at the hospital looking for a suspect. Details on the suspect have not yet been released.

Published in: on June 27, 2012 at 9:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

CMPD Cold Case Unit Makes Charges Man with 1979 Rapes

From http://www.wcnc.com, June 26, 2012

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A man police call the “ski-mask-rapist” is now in custody.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say Jerry Lee Brooks, 62, raped at least three women in the Charlotte area back in 1979.

CMPD’s Sexual Assault Cold Case Unit started looking into the case in December of last year and noticed the similarities between several cases. They sent DNA evidence to a lab for testing and were able to link Brooks to three cases.

Brooks allegedly broke into several women’s homes across the region.  Officials said they know of at least three victims and believe there may be others across the southeast.

On Monday a Mecklenburg County grand jury indicted  on 13 counts, including three counts of rape, two counts of crime against nature, two counts of kidnapping, two counts of attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, two counts of breaking and entering, one count of robbery with a dangerous weapon and one count of burglary.

The Violent Criminal Apprehension Team tracked Brooks to Myrtle Beach and arrested him just before 4 Tuesday afternoon.

He will likely be brought back to the Mecklenburg County jail later this week.

Published in: on June 27, 2012 at 9:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

Police Searching for Another Felon Who Cut Off His Electronic Monitoring Device

Police: Teen felon cut off monitor

From The Charlotte Observer by Meghan Cooke, June 27, 2012

Authorities say they are searching for a 19-year-old felon who cut off his ankle bracelet Wednesday.

DeShawn Franklin McManus of Charlotte is on the run after cutting off his electronic monitor on Reid Avenue, off West Boulevard near Clanton Road, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police.

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DeShawn Franklin McManus, 19. Photo courtesy of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office.

McManus was wearing the ankle bracelet as part of a program with the N.C. Department of Community Corrections to monitor people on probation. McManus was on probation in connection with a breaking and entering case, police said.

He’s now wanted for a felony probation violation and interfering with an electronic monitoring device.

Police described McManus’ criminal history as “extensive.” Records show McManus was convicted last year of felony breaking and entering and possession of stolen goods in Mecklenburg County. He’d previously been convicted of attempted larceny of a vehicle.

In February, he was jailed for violating his probation, according to jail records. He was released June 9.

Police said McManus is 5-foot-8 and 180 pounds.

Anyone with information about McManus’ whereabouts is asked to call 911 or CMPD’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Team at 704-336-8228.

Published in: on June 27, 2012 at 9:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

CMPD Searching for Man Charged in East-Charlotte Murder

From http://www.wcnc.com by Trey Harmon, June 23, 2012

Charlotte Mecklenburg police have named a suspect in the murder of a 21-year-old man Saturday.

Police are looking for 19-year-old Arnold Jerad Thomas and have charged him with the murder of Dantonio Gerrick Hamilton.

Police name suspect in east Charlotte murder

Hamilton was shot Saturday morning at the Hampton Commons apartments on Lanecrest Avenue in east Charlotte.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Arnold Thomas is asked to call 911 or Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

Published in: on June 24, 2012 at 11:40 am  Leave a Comment