Police Blotter

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    POLICE BLOTTER

    In a continuing effort to provide the community with access to information on recent crime related activities and the actions of the Asheville Police Department to deter crime in Asheville neighborhoods, the city has launched this initiative to make the community more aware of arrests made by the APD.

    The Asheville Police Blotter will feature information on critical incidents, arrests, public safety bulletins and announcements made to the local media.


     Jan. 10, 2013

    APD investigating homicide 

    On Friday, January 3rd, 2014 at approximately 8:19 PM, the Asheville Police Department responded to a report of a person down at a bus stop in Pisgah View Apartments.  When officers arrived they  found the victim, 31 year old, Patrick Frances Saunders, of Asheville, unconscious lying on the sidewalk.  It appeared as if the victim received a blow to the head.  Mr. Saunders was transported to Mission Hospital where he later died on January 6th, 2014.

    The Asheville Police Department is asking for anyone with information about this incident to contact the Asheville Police Department at 828-252-1110 or Crime Stoppers 828-255-5050.



    Dec. 19, 2013

     

    *** APD announces results of Booze it and Loose it checkpoints ***

    Asheville - On Friday, December 13, 2013, the Asheville Police Department Traffic Safety Unit hosted a Multi Agency Checkpoint. Along with members of the Asheville Police Department, representatives from MADD, WNC Safekids, Governors Highway Safety Program, North Carolina Highway Patrol, Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office, Fletcher Police Department, Black Mountain Police Department, Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, Macon County Sheriff’s Office, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Cherokee Tribal Police Department, Columbus Police Department, and Waynesville Police Department.

    Listed below are the final numbers from the evening.

    21 and Over DWI Charges

    9

    Seat Belt Violations

    4

    Child Passenger Seat Violations

     1

    Drug Violations

    9

    Other, Criminal Violations

    3

    DWLR

    6

    Other, Traffic Violations

    43

    Wanted Persons Apprehended

    3

    Prisoners Transported

     12




    October 18, 2013

    UPDATE *** B&E suspect located ***

    Jesse McNeil Bridgers was located at approximately 11:00 AM on Depot St.  He was arrested without incident.  Additional information may be released as it becomes available.    

    October 17, 2013

     *** APD seeks assistance with locating B&E suspect ***

    Asheville – The Asheville Police Department is seeking assistance in locating Jesse McNeil Bridgers.  Bridgers is wanted for one residential B & E and suspected in several others in West Asheville.  Jesse Bridgers is a white male, 35 years of age.  He is 5’ 10” and 150 pounds.  He was last seen wearing a green long sleeve shirt, dark jeans, and tennis shoes. 

    Jesse Bridgers was being questioned at APD when he fled the interview room at 5:08 PM today.  Bridgers is believed to be in the downtown area, but could be trying to return to West Asheville.  Bridgers is not believed to be armed or dangerous.  Multiple APD resources are attempting to locate this suspect.

    If anyone knows the whereabouts of Jesse McNeil Bridgers, call the Asheville Police Department at 828-252-1110 or Crime Stoppers at 828-255-5050 or send a tip via text message specifically to the Asheville PD by Texting "APDTIP plus your tip" to 274637 (CRIMES).






     


    PLEASE HELP IDENTIFY

    September 18, 2013
    Armed Robbery, CVS Merrimon Ave.

    Just before 2100 hours on 9/18/13 a white male entered CVS and walked directly to the pharmacy.  The suspect grabbed a female from behind, pulled her to the pharmacy counter, and told her not to move. The suspect presented a hand written note to the pharmacy employee threatening to do harm unless he received the pills he wanted. The pharmacy employee complied and provided the suspect two pill bottles. The suspect exited the store, without further incident.  Witnesses described the suspect as a W/M, 20-30's, 6' tall, average build.  See suspect photos below.

    Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 255-5050, the Asheville Police Department at 252-1110 or send a tip via text message specifically to the Asheville PD by Texting "APDTIP plus your tip" to 274637 (CRIMES).



    Asheville Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division are looking for James Dewon Griffin and Robert Louis Boseman



    Investigators with the Asheville Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division are looking for James Dewon Griffin and Robert Louis Boseman in connection to the June 18th shooting at Livingston and Depot.  The men are all from Asheville and considered persons of interest in the shooting described below.  No warrants have been obtained as of this writing. 


    They may be traveling in a blue Chrysler 300 or a gray mid-size four door sedan with tinted windows.

     If anyone knows the location of these individuals, please call the Asheville Police Department at 828-252-1110 or Crime Stoppers at 828-255-5050 or send a tip via text message specifically to the Asheville PD by Texting "APDTIP plus your tip" to 274637 (CRIMES).


    NOTICE OF HEARING

    NOISE ORDINANCE APPEALS BOARD

    Notice is hereby given that complaints as it pertains to the Noise Ordinance have been taken to the Noise Ordinance Appeals Board in the following case:

    1. Larry D. Holt of 21 Haywood Street, Unit 2-C and Alison Douglass of 21 Haywood Street, Unit 3-C have filed a complaint against Waste Pro located at 138 Travistock Road in Arden, NC, describing a noise violation of the operation of garbage trucks collecting commercial waste in violation of the Noise Ordinance of the City of Asheville.

    This case will be heard at a regular meeting of the Noise Ordinance Appeals Board on February 28, 2013, at 3:00 pm in the Chief’s Conference Room on the 3rd floor of the Municipal Building/Police Department.

    All persons with disabilities that need auxiliary aid should contact the ADA Coordinator at 259-5800, TTY number 259-5548, at least 72 hours prior to the public hearing.




    January 9, 2013

    APD Attempting to Locate Suspect in Mid-Day Bank Robbery
    Case 13-000686

    The Asheville Police Department received a report today at 12:29 PM of a bank robbery at the Bank of America located at 1896 Hendersonville Rd.  The suspect is described as a black male, dressed as a woman, wearing make-up.  He was last seen on foot heading southeast of the bank toward the railroad tracks.  No one was injured during the robbery.  Additional photos will be released when available.

    Anyone with information as to the identity of the bank robber is asked to contact the Asheville Police Department at 828-252-1110 or Asheville Buncombe Crime Stoppers at 828-255-5050 or send a tip via text message specifically to the Asheville PD by  Texting "APDTIP plus your tip" to 274637 (CRIMES).



    APD Housing Unit Officers locate Dominik Austin

    On December 3, 2012 APD Public Housing Team Officers watched a house where Dominik Austin was allegedly staying and stopped him as he tried to leave. During the arrest, Officers found crack cocaine in his pocket and during a search of the house found additional drugs and drug manufacturing evidence. Austin was served with his eight open warrants and was additionally charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver crack cocaine and also held on his failure to pay child support warrant. He is still in the Buncombe County Detention Facility under a $68,000 secured bond.

     

    APD Investigates Shooting Into an Occupied Home

    On November 30, 2012 at approximately 12:30 pm Asheville PD Officers went Erskine Street Apartments for a report of shots fired near the 39 Building. When Officers arrived they found that 38 Erskine Avenue was hit by five or six bullets that tore through the house. The house was occupied at the time of the shooting but the resident was not injured. The preliminary investigation revealed that the homeowner was not the intended target. The target was possibly one of the group of men and women that were standing on the street near the house. Witnesses reported that a dark Jetta or Mazda sedan drove by and shot at the crowd. One person who was in the crowd left prior to APD arriving. His name is Dominik Austin and he was seen speeding away in a grey Dodge pick-up with all –terrain tires. Austin currently has eight open warrants for his arrest for selling cocaine, possession of firearm by felon, carry a concealed weapon, and child support.

    If you see Austin then please call APD at 252-1110 or Crime Stoppers at 255-5050 or send a tip via text message specifically to the Asheville PD by  Texting "APDTIP plus your tip" to 274637 (CRIMES).

     

    Domanik Austin

    UPDATE****** Both men have been located and warrants served******

    On November 29, 2012 Lloyd Phillips turned himself in for the warrants that he had open for his arrest for assaulting Officer Torgow on November 24, 2012. On that night Officer Torgow saw a fight in front of Magnolia’s Bar on Walnut Street. When she tried to intervene, one of the fighters Lloyd Phillips assaulted her and ran away. As she chased Phillips, she was attacked and strangled by Jonathan Michael Aliferis. Back up Officers were able to take Aliferis in custody but Phillips was able to escape. That night Aliferis was charged with assault by strangulation, assault on officer and resisting arrest.

    On November 29th Officers served warrants on Phillips for affray, assault on officer, resisting arrest and he also had an order for his arrest for not paying his child support. He was held in the Buncombe County Detention Facility under a $10,000.00 secured bond.

     

     

     

      APD Arrest Synthetic Marijuana User for DWI and Damage to Property

    On November 27, 2012 at approximately 12:21pm APD officers saw a Jeep driving on US 70 in east Asheville. Officers noticed that the driver was smoking a substance from a pipe and that a green gas nozzle and hose was hanging from the gas tank of the Jeep. As Officers approached the Jeep they noticed that the driver was still lighting and smoking the pipe and was in close proximity to a gas can in the passenger area of the Jeep. During the roadside investigation Officers determined that the driver, Willaim Buchanan of Nebo had driven to Asheville to purchase a large quantity of synthetic marijuana from Octopus Garden in East Asheville. After smoking some product Buchanan stopped for gas at the BP station located at 1411 Tunnel rd and drove off with the gas nozzle and hose still attached to the Jeep. Officers arrested Buchanan for DWI and damage to property.

     


     

     

    APD Seeks Help Locating Murder Suspect

    Asheville Police are requesting help in the search for Celerino Maldonado Ponce, 40 year-old Hispanic male, wanted for two counts of First Degree Murder.  Ponce is still at large for the November 25, 2007 shooting deaths of Apolinar Gallegos-Alvarez and Jose Gallegos-Alvarez, as well as the wounding of Martin Gallegos-Alvarez.  The Gallegos-Alvarez brothers were inside the Billar Latino at 697 Haywood Road in Asheville when an argument occurred and Ponce pulled out a gun and started shooting.   When police arrived on the scene Ponce had already fled, and Apolinar and Jose Gallegos-Alvarez were found deceased. 

    Ponce is believed to have fled the Asheville area immediately after the shooting and his whereabouts are still unknown.  Asheville Police ask that anyone with information as to Ponce’s location please call Detective Kevin Taylor at 259-5945 or Crime Stoppers at 255-5050 or send a tip via text message specifically to the Asheville PD by  Texting "APDTIP plus your tip" to 274637 (CRIMES).



    The Asheville Police Department is asking for assistance in locating three wanted Violent Crime Initiative (VCI) offenders.

    All three men were participants in the Violent Crime Initiative (VCI) Call-In organized by Changing Together. Changing Together is a coalition of community members, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, the District Attorney’s office and area social service providers.

    Changing Together invites the most violent offenders in our community to attend a Call-In and receive an important message.  The community explains that their violent actions will no longer be tolerated.  Should they choose to continue on a violent path, law enforcement agencies, through a coordinated information-sharing network, will make every effort to ensure that notified offenders receive the most severe sentencing under the law.  However, if an offender chooses to change their behavior, Changing Together and the community will immediately support those who ask for help and assist in providing access to a variety of resources. 

         
     

    James Dewon Griffin of 226 Westwood Place, Asheville NC 28806 – he has an open warrant for assault with a deadly weapon, where he reportedly struck a woman in the head with a pistol. 

     

    Torean Young of 95 Mills Gap Road Apt 41 D, Asheville NC 28803  – He has 3 open warrants for trespass,  driving while license revoked and resisting arrest.

     

    Tyrees Houston of Hillcrest Apartments – He has absconded from NC probation and parole and has an open felony probation violation.

    UPDATE - Located & Arrested

    If you have any information about the whereabouts of the above mentioned,
    CONTACT:  Criminal Investigations - Asheville Police Department - 828-259-5963

     

    APD Attempting to Locate Suspect in Bank Robbery Case 12-029722

    UPDATE: Suspect arrested and charged with 3 armed robberies in Asheville. 

    UPDATE: The Asheville Police Department has released additional photos of the suspect from the bank robbery at 975 Smoky Park Highway reported on 10/23/2012. The suspect vehicle, a 1980’s model Chevy K-5 Blazer is also included.  This individual is also wanted for questioning in a series of recent armed robberies in Greenville-Spartanburg-Chester South Carolina and Johnson City-Bristol-Kingsport Tennessee.  Although he did not display a weapon in the Asheville robbery, he has shown a handgun in the previous hold-ups.  He should be considered armed and dangerous.  A second unknown white male suspect has been driving the vehicle on some of these incidents out of state.

     

     

    ORIGINAL RELEASE: Asheville – The Asheville Police Department received a report today (10/23/12) at 2:20 PM of a bank robbery at First Citizens Bank located at 975 Smoky Park Highway.  The suspect is described as a clean cut, white male, 5’10” with a medium build.  He was wearing sunglasses, a grey hooded sweatshirt and black baggie pants.  He was last seen getting into an older model, olive green, full size SUV.  Witnesses stated he was traveling east on Smoky Park Highway.  No one was injured during the robbery.

     

    NOTICE OF HEARING
    NOISE ORDINANCE APPEALS BOARD

    Notice is hereby given that complaints as it pertains to the Noise Ordinance have been taken to the Noise Ordinance Appeals Board in the following case:

    1. Martha Woolverton of 2407 River Ridge Drive, Sherry Dittbrender of 2303 River Ridge Drive, Janet Madolin of 2404 River Ridge Drive and Karen Katz of 2401 River Ridge Drive, Asheville, NC 28803,  have filed a complaint against The Treasure Club of 520 Swannanoa River Road, Asheville, NC 28805 describing a noise violation of loud music that can be heard inside some of the   units at River Ridge Apartments in violation of the Noise Ordinance of the City of Asheville.

    This case will be heard at a regular meeting of the Noise Ordinance Appeals Board on October 25, 2012, at 3:00 pm in the Chief’s Conference Room on the 3rd floor of the Municipal Building/Police Department.

    All persons with disabilities that need auxiliary aid should contact the ADA Coordinator at 259-5800, TTY number 259-5548, at least 72 hours prior to the public hearing.

     

    ***Sign up now for the Fall Citizen's Police Academy at the Asheville Police Department***

    Asheville - The Asheville Police Department is now inviting residents to apply for the fall semester of its Citizens Police Academy.  This free program gives participants insight into the philosophy and policies that govern the APD’s service to the community. The class is designed to give residents an appreciation for the problems and challenges facing law enforcement, as well as an up-close opportunity to offer insights, ideas and solutions. 

    Classes begin September 6 at 6 p.m. at the Police Department.  The academy lasts for 12 consecutive weeks, with three-hour classes held on Thursdays. The final day of the class is a graduation ceremony.  The course consists of basic classroom instruction, presentations, and demonstrations on topics such as criminal investigations, constitutional and criminal law, use of force, departmental structure and defensive tactics.  Participants will also be able to ride with police officers on patrol. 

    Those wishing to participate must apply and be accepted. For more information on the academy, contact Officer Allen Dunlap at 259-5834 or e-mail him at adunlap@ashevillenc.gov.

    APD Investigates Serious Traffic Collision On Smoky Park Highway 

    Asheville - On 07/11/2012 at approximately 1:06 PM the Asheville Police Department received multiple calls describing a serious collision on Smoky Park Highway near Brookside Circle.  Traffic Safety Unit personnel responded to the scene and discovered a 2009 Kia 4-door operated by Tammy Sue Padgett, 40 of Asheville was traveling westbound on Smokey Park Hwy when she collided with two individuals; Gary Lee Patterson, 20 also of Asheville and another man as they were attempting to push a disabled 1990 Ford Bronco out of the roadway steered by Delores Johnson Twitty, 37 of Asheville. 

    Mr. Patterson, Ms.Twitty, and the other male individual were transported to Mission Hospital.  As a result of the crash the males right leg was amputated and he is in surgery at this time in critical condition.  Mr. Patterson & Ms. Twitty are currently being evaluated for non-life threatening injuries.  The name of the male victim is known but being withheld at this time pending the location & notification of family members.

    Ms. Padgett was cited & released for failure to reduce speed.  The District Attorney's Office will be contacted in the near future regarding any further charges.  Her first court appearance is set for 09/06/12 in District Court #3.

     

    APD Selects Sgt. David Romick as its New Public Information Officer

    ASHEVILLE – The Asheville Police Department is pleased to announce that 23 year veteran officer, Sgt. David Romick, has been selected as the new Police Department Public Information Officer.  Sgt. Romick has been a long time Sergeant in the Criminal Investigations Division and has an excellent understanding of public information law.

    Sgt. Romick will be taking over for Lt. Wallace J. Welch, allowing him to assume greater responsibilities of running the Criminal Investigations Division as its Acting Captain.

    Although, Sgt. Romick will be the primary PIO for the department; he will have the occasional assistance of 14 year veteran Sgt. Michael Lamb.  Sgt. Lamb is currently assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division as its Gang/Vice Sergeant and can also be utilized as a contact for the PIO function. 

    Contact information for both Sergeants is as follows: 

    Sgt. Dave Romick
    259-5882
    dromick@ashevillenc.gov

    Sgt. Michael Lamb
    259-5963
    mlamb@ashevillenc.gov   

    *Note – Weekend and after hours protocols will remain the same. Media staff should call the non-emergency number for the communications center (252-1110).  APD Communications staff will then notify the on-duty Lieutenant or Captain of the media inquiry for timely follow up.    

    Asheville Police Department offers free motorcycle safety course

    ASHEVILLE – The Asheville Police Department, in partnership with BikeSafe NC, will give a free Rider Skills training session June 23 at the APD’s downtown location.

    The training session addresses safety issues and rider skills that allow motorcyclists to better avoid accidents and enjoy the ride. APD motor officers will assess riders’ skill levels and give advice customized for all levels of expertise and any style of bike. The day will cover professional riding techniques, causes of collisions, hazard perception, first aid, gear selection and a system of motorcycle control.

    “This is a great opportunity for motor officers to engage with recreational motorcyclists and talk safety, talk motorcycles, and then go out and ride together,” says Lt. Stony Gonce. “It is another way to build community partnerships and make our roadways safer.”

    The BikeSafe Rider Skills Day is offered free to the public but registration is required.  Since this is the first year the Asheville Police Department has participated in BikeSafe Rider Skills Day, the department is currently assessing interest in the class and will schedule classes based on community interest.  Visit bikesafenc.com or email sgonce@ashevillenc.gov with questions.

    BikeSafe is a partnership between the NC Governor’s Highway Safety Program and local law enforcement agencies.

    This press release can be found online at coablog.ashevillenc.gov.

     

     Asheville applies for Justice Assistance Grant

    ASHEVILLE - The City of Asheville is applying for funding through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) 2012 Local Solicitation program.  This US Department of Justice funding is provided to enhance partnerships between federal, state and local governments to create safer communities through preventing or reducing crime and violence.

    The grant awards funds to local governments for equipment, training, technical assistance, information systems and supplies to enhance local law enforcement. The Asheville Police Department and the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office are jointly applying for $56,927.

    The Asheville Police Department plans to use the grant funds, if awarded, to enhance our in-car video system by purchasing cameras and related equipment. This would aid evidence collection in traffic related incidents, enhance officer and public safety, and advance the Asheville City Council’s Goal of Safe and Fiscal Responsibility.  This equipment and funding would aid making Asheville one of the safest cities and reduce the strain on the city’s fiscal budget.

    The Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office plans to use its portion of the grant to purchase a “throwbot” type robotic mobile surveillance system to enhance officer safety. The deployment method of this type of robotic surveillance system enables deployment in areas and situations where a traditional robotic device will not work.  Additional funding will be used to purchase digital imagery equipment and TASER electronic control devices.

    Citizens can submit input on the grant by contacting Captain Wade Wood in the Asheville Police Department’s Administrative Division at (828) 259-5885 or at wwood@ashevillenc.gov

    More information is also available at:

    https://www.bja.gov/Funding/12JAGLocalSol.pdf

    APD Traffic Safety Unit release new video

    Click the image above to watch.

       

    Asheville Police Department uses new technology to inform residents and reduce crime

    ASHEVILLE – The Asheville Police Department recently took steps with the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office to increase the amount of crime data available online.  Other new services include an iPhone app and the ability to anonymously submit tips online and through texting.

    “Providing reliable, timely information to our residents is one of our top priorities, because an informed public is a safer public,” says Interim Police Chief Wade Wood.  “These tools will give us the ability to keep the public informed on a regular basis as to what is going on in the community.”

    The new interactive mapping tool is available at www.crimereports.com.  The website features a map that includes near real time crime data.  Users can simply enter an address and see recent crime activity and the locations of registered sex offenders.  More in-depth information, such as summaries of crime counts by crime type, will continue to be available through the city’s CrimeMapper application.

    To text a tip, users should text “APDTIP [add message here]” to 274637 (CRIMES).  This secure and anonymous tool also allows for anonymous two-way dialog between tipsters and law enforcement.  Another option is to anonymously and securely submit tips online at http://www.ashevillenc.gov/Departments/Police/CrimeReports.aspx.

    More information about the CrimeMapper application, CrimeReports website and the new anonymous tip tools is available on the police department’s web pages at www.ashevillenc.gov.

        

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