A 21-year-old Clinton man wanted on charges of burglary and kidnapping in a Jan. 22 Roseboro home invasion — and said to be armed and dangerous — was apprehended in Greenville Monday morning.
Investigators with the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office, assisted by the U.S. Marshals Service, located Jimmy McKoy Rouse, 21, of 503 W. Butler Ave., Clinton, at a residence in Greenville around 9 a.m. Monday. Officers took Rouse into custody without incident and transported him back to the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office, where he was served with outstanding warrants for first degree burglary, possession of a stolen firearm, two counts of first degree kidnapping and discharging firearm into an occupied dwelling.
Rouse was placed in the Sampson County Detention Center under $2 million bond.
Rouse was entered wanted as a fugitive stemming from a home invasion at 386 Lucas Road, Roseboro, which occurred around 3 a.m. Jan. 22. During the home invasion, three suspects forcibly entered the residence and assaulted the occupants, sheriff’s authorities said.
Through investigation, three suspects — Rouse, along with Rodney Derreck Williams, 28, and Linwood Dion Rich, 16, both of Roseboro — were linked to the home invasion. Investigators subsequently arrested Williams and Rich on charges of first-degree burglary, two counts of first-degree kidnapping and felony conspiracy. Williams received an additional charge of probation violation. Both were placed in the Detention Center, Rich under a $1M bond and Williams under $1.025M bond, while Rouse remained at large.
Rouse is now in sheriff’s custody, where he was little more than a month ago.
Rouse was arrested by sheriff’s officials last month for allegedly shooting at a moving vehicle occupied by a family with four young children. That shooting was reported just before midnight Dec. 29 on Bonnetsville Road. Rouse was arrested Jan. 4 and charged with six counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and four counts of discharging a weapon into an occupied dwelling/moving vehicle.
He was placed in the Detention Center under $100,000 secured bond for those charges. However, just two and a half weeks after he was arrested, the home invasion occurred on Lucas Road, allegedly involving Rouse and the other two suspects.
No charges for victim
While announcing the capture of Rouse, sheriff’s officials also answered concerns from residents who were awakened in the early-morning hours of Jan. 22 by one of the victims of the home invasion, who they said was able to disarm a suspect and flee from the Lucas Road residence on foot.
The victim, who was now armed with the suspect’s AR-15 rifle, fled to an adjacent neighborhood on North Pine Street, knocking on residents’ windows and doors for help, “fearing he was being chased by the suspects,” authorities stated.
“Homeowners saw a male subject armed with a firearm, which rightfully alarmed them and they contacted 911. One homeowner confronted the victim and held him at gunpoint until deputies could arrive,” a statement released Monday read. “Once on scene, deputies began to sort through the events and discovered that the male subject, who had been running through the neighborhood armed with a firearm, was in fact the victim from a home invasion — that had not yet been reported — on Lucas Road.”
That home invasion victim, Rolando A. Torres, 24, was charged with damage to property, but will receive no additional charges, authorities said, calling the decision “common sense.”
In addition to the damage to property charge, Torres was served several orders for his arrest on traffic-related offenses. Court records show Torres does have a history of breaking and entering and larceny in Sampson. His most recent conviction was on a charge of possession of a controlled substance in December 2016. He received a suspended sentence and 18 months probation.
He was reportedly visiting a friend at their Lucas Road address when the suspects barged in. Torres’ escape took him to the residences of Oscar and Evelyn Williams and Clarence and Gladys Dawson, located across from each other in the 400 block of North Pine Street, Roseboro, about a mile from the Lucas Road address.
“During the victim’s pleas for help, some property received minor damage,” the Sheriff’s Office statement continued. “However, the victim, despite being a convicted felon, (was) not and will not be charged for possessing a firearm during the incident. This is a matter of where common sense prevails. Any victim has the right to defend themselves under state law. The firearm during this incident was not the victim’s personal firearm, but one that had been used against the victim by a suspect during the home invasion. The victim possessing the firearm because they disarmed the suspect and then fled on foot in possession of the firearm out of fear for their life does not make them a criminal.”
The homeowner who held Torres at gunpoint, Oscar Williams of North Pine Street, spoke to The Sampson Independent last week, sharing his account of what he described as a horrifying ordeal. Awakened to loud booms and glass shattering at his own house, he said he feared for his life and that of his wife.
Regardless of the circumstances, Williams said he said he did not understand how a man who is a convicted felon can have a firearm and there are no repercussions.
“A felon should not have that — they aren’t allowed to have that. He had an assault rifle and they’re going to let him go,” he asserted. “Even if they were chasing him with a bazooka or an M1 tank, this maniac is in the neighborhood terrorizing residents.”
“He fired the weapon,” said Williams. “They know he fired it.”
On Monday, Sheriff Jimmy Thornton said Torres’ criminal past does not mean he is not subject to equal treatment under the law and his own due process.
“The victim in this case was in fact someone with a criminal record and I know this has been an area of concern for a few,” Thornton said. “However, despite their past, they too are entitled to equal protection under the law and they have the right to defend themselves from harm.”
Thornton said he and his staff took oaths to serve and protect all people within Sampson County, despite some who have checkered pasts within the criminal justice system.
“We absolutely applaud all the citizens’ patience and understanding throughout this investigation,” the sheriff stated. “I know this must have been a frightening experience for all of those involved. My investigators have worked tirelessly on this case to ensure that these fugitives were brought to justice in accordance with the laws of this state. I am thankful that our Sampson County streets and neighborhoods are once again safe.”
Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.