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Witness identifies wrong man

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BY LINDELL JOHN KAY
Staff Writer

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Authorities are apologizing to a man incorrectly identified as a robbery suspect who was in jail at the time of the crime.

The search continues for the real wrongdoers. A man was robbed Jan. 19 while at an ATM, according to a Jan. 23 report in the Telegram.

The 31-year-old victim was standing in line at an ATM on the 800 block of Harbour West Drive when he was accosted by two suspects who physically assaulted him and removed items from his van including his cellphone and a handgun. He wasn't robbed of cash as he hadn't yet reached the automatic teller machine.

Several witnesses at the scene identified two suspects. Warrants carrying a charge of common law robbery were issued for Donald Ray Alston Jr., 32, and Darcoa Debosen McCalop, 28.

However, McCalop was misidentified by a witness and his arrest warrant was recalled by the District Attorney's office, said Sgt. Brad Summerlin, public information officer for the Rocky Mount Police Department.

"McCalop was not involved in this case at all," Summerlin said. "Please fix the (news) report."

Officers didn't let Summerlin know that the warrants were recalled, he said.

"I am sorry for the issue," Summerlin said.

McCalop's mom, Sheneek Cooper, said she read her son's name in the newspaper and knew he couldn't be responsible for the robbery because he'd been in jail since before Christmas.

"For once I was glad he was locked up," Cooper said. "He's done a lot of stuff, but he didn't do this."

Cooper said her son had a job and was trying to turn his life around when he was jailed over a failure to appear in court on prior charges. McCalop is incarcerated in the Edgecombe County Detention Center on a charge of failure to appear in a case involving possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of a stolen firearm and carrying a concealed weapon, according to the N.C. Court Calendar.

Cooper said she spoke with Summerlin about the situation.

"He promised he was going to take care of it and he did," Cooper said. "Mistakes happen."

While McCalop is off the hook in the robbery case, police are still searching for Alston and another culprit.

"Donald Alston still has an outstanding process for this case," Summerlin said. "The other suspect was not identified."

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Twin County Crime Stoppers at 252-977-1111 or crimestoppers@rockymountnc.gov.

Text a tip to police at 274637 by beginning messages with RMPOL to direct the tip to the Rocky Mount Police Department and type up to 155 characters of the information.

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