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Candidate assaulted during robbery

Bronson Williams

Bronson Williams

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BY AMELIA HARPER
Staff Writer

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Mayoral candidate Bronson Williams was assaulted about 7 p.m. on Friday as four suspects robbed the Roc-Cade establishment he owns.

Sgt. Brad Summerlin of the Rocky Mount Police Department said his office received a call regarding suspects taking money from the business at 1151 N. Wesleyan Blvd. Though the business, which Williams described as an arcade, does pay for vouchers submitted by winning gamers, according to its Facebook posting, some of the suspects were trying to fraudulently cash in tickets for money, Summerlin said.

One of the suspects also obtained a key to the cash box and stole money from that as well.

The suspect struck Williams before they fled the scene in a car, Summerlin said. Police quickly identified the vehicle, conducted a traffic stop and found the money.

“I am really proud of the response of our police department,” Williams said. “Within about six minutes of the time the crime was reported, they had captured the suspects. I was able to quickly go to the scene and identify those who took advantage of me.”

Jeanie Harman, 43, was charged with felony obtaining property by false pretenses. She was jailed under a $6,000 secured bond in the Nash County Detention Center.

Minela Tiric, 27, was charged with felony obtaining property by false pretenses and resisting, obstructing and delaying a police officer by giving false information. She also was arrested on warrants from Surry County for conspiracy to commit felony larceny, safecracking, felony larceny and obtaining property by false pretenses. She was jailed under a $23,000 secured bond in the Nash County Detention Center.

Isaac Lattimore, 27, was charged with common law robbery, breaking and entering a coin-operated machine and felony obtaining property by false pretenses. He was placed under a $35,000 secured bond.

Jeremy Tootle, 24, also was charged with common law robbery, breaking and entering a coin-operated machine and felony obtaining property by false pretenses. He also was arrested on warrants from Surry County for conspiracy to commit felony larceny, safecracking, felony larceny and obtaining property by false pretenses, Summerlin said. Tootle was jailed in the Nash County Detention Center but his bond amount is unknown.

Williams said the incident made him angry rather than scared.

“We live in a city where crime is happening every single day,” Williams said. “I think there were several robberies at surrounding businesses that same day. It made me angry that someone, instead of working for a living, would come and take something that belongs to someone else. But I do think part of the solution is to find work for people.”

As of presstime, only one other robbery had been listed in the police to citizen reporting system for that day, though the others may not have yet been entered, Summerlin said.

In the only other robbery reported by police so far that day, the Kangaroo Express on the 1600 block of Sunset Avenue was robbed by an armed suspect about 9:18 p.m. The suspect reportedly made all the customers and staff members lie on the floor as he stole money from the cash register and one of the customers.

The suspect in that incident is described as a young man in his 20s with a dark complexion and a slim build wearing all black except for a green ski mask.

Williams said he is somewhat comforted by the knowledge that the suspects in the robbery of his business came from outside the area.

“It is my understanding that these suspects were from Greensboro and Durham,” Williams said. “At least these were not Rocky Mount residents trying to rob other Rocky Mount residents.”

Williams said he plans to soon unveil his own public safety platform.