Real Life Combat: Man Saves Woman
CHAPEL HILL Joey Shelton was driving up North Columbia Street on Wednesday afternoon when he saw a man dragging a young jogger toward a car in a parking lot.
“He’s looking like he’s wrasslin’ her,” Shelton, 51, said Thursday. “All I knew was the guy was doing this woman wrong in broad daylight.”
Chapel Hill police say what happened next probably kept the 19-year-old woman from being kidnapped.
Shelton, a part-time barber and chauffeur, said he and his brother Freddie, 50, were going to check out surplus computers when they saw the man grab the woman.
She had been jogging past the parking lot behind the RBC Bank at East Rosemary and North Columbia streets, about two blocks north of the UNC-Chapel Hill campus.
“We said it was wrong, let’s go do something,” said Shelton, who lives in Pittsboro.
He backed his Cadillac Concours into the lot to block the exit, and he and his brother got out.
The man had sprayed the jogger in the face with what she later described as pepper spray. He let go, and she fell to the ground, and he got into a white Chevrolet.
The Cadillac didn’t completely block his escape. He swerved the Chevrolet around the Cadillac, pinning Shelton between the two cars.
“He got me spinning like a top before I landed on his hood,” Shelton said.
“My body must have busted his window,” he said. “My brother said he watched in horror as he sees his brother just creamed by this car.”
Suspect found quickly
Fifteen minutes later, police found the Chevrolet up the road at Mill Creek Condominiums.
About 3:30 p.m., about 90 minutes after the incident, police saw the suspect walking out from the trees at Timber Hollow Apartments on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Theodore James Walker, 26, of 108 Timber Hollow Court, was arrested without incident, Lt. Kevin Gunter said. He was charged with second-degree kidnapping, assault on a female and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.
Before Wednesday, Walker had only driving charges, including a guilty plea to driving while impaired in 2006, according to court records.
‘I just got sprayed’
On Thursday, police released 911 calls. On one, a woman at the RBC Bank was reporting the attack when the young woman, 19, was brought into the building and gets on the phone.
“I just got sprayed – what do I need to do for that – in the eyes,” says the woman, distraught but able to describe the man.
Is the man still there, the operator asks.
“I don’t know,” the young woman replies. “I ran away and started screaming.”
Police would not release the jogger’s name.
Gunter praised the Shelton brothers for getting involved. “I think this young lady may have been in grave danger if they had not intervened,” he said.
Gunter said he could not recall a recent similar attack.
In 1993, a jogger in Chapel Hill was killed when she sprayed her attacker with Mace and he shot her five times. Anthony Georg Simpson was found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Kristin Lodge-Miller and was sentenced to life.
On Thursday Shelton was resting after treatment at UNC Hospitals for a fractured and compressed disc.
He said the young woman called to thank the brothers. “It was a beautiful thing,” he said, “because her birthday is today.
“She’s got a lot more birthdays, praise God.”