A group of white people armed with weapons demanded entry into the home of a black woman and her son in Pender County, N.C., late last Sunday night and refused to leave.
Reportedly leading the group was a member of the New Hanover Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Jordan Kita, who was armed and in uniform during the incident in question despite being off-duty and employed in a different county.
The mob claimed they were on the lookout for someone named Josiah in connection with the disappearance of a young girl, according to James Lea, an attorney now representing the family. They wouldn’t take no for an answer when Monica Shepard and her son, Dameon, a high school senior, told them repeatedly that no one by that name lived at that residence.
When Dameon attempted to shut the door after telling the group who he was, Lea says the New Hanover County deputy stuck his foot in the door and demanded to come inside. Shepard woke up during this commotion and also tried to get the group to leave her property, indicating the person they were looking for did not live there.
Once again, according to Lea, the group continued to question the Shepards, demanding to come inside. The deputy also blocked Shepard from closing her door. Lea says at some point the group realized they were at the wrong residence and started disbanding, but by that time the Pender County Sheriff’s Office was called to the disturbance.
You won’t be surprised to hear that the members of the mob were allowed to leave the scene unscathed by the Sheriff’s Office.
Two deputies arrived to talk with the Shepards. Lea notes the group of people, including those who were armed, returned and followed the deputies to the Shepards’ property. According to Lea, the deputies took no names of those in the group and didn’t investigate the situation. A captain who arrived on scene also did not take any action. Lea says the same captain returned to the Shepards’ property the next day on his own, indicated it would be complicated to arrest anyone, but said he’d “look into it.”
Kita was finally charged with forcible trespass, breaking and entering and willful failure to discharge duties on Friday—almost a week to the break-in, and only after the family’s lawyer wrote to the District Attorney’s Office and asked them to investigate the terrorizing incident. He has also been fired, according to WECT.
A second person, Robert Austin Wood, will be charged with going armed to the terror of the public, District Attorney Ben David said.
Meanwhile, the Pender County Sheriff’s Department is patting itself on the back for doing absolutely nothing on the night in question.
Sheriff Cutler admitted at the news conference Friday they may have had enough evidence to make an arrest on the night of the incident, but said he was proud his deputies diffused the situation that night and they wanted to make an informed decision on this situation.
The other members of the group remain at large.