WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Just days out of prison, a man is back behind bars accused of robbing two banks in Wilmington. Now he’s talking to WWAY from jail. So is the man’s father, who contacted us over the weekend about his son’s problems. He also called the police to report his son.
Days after he was released from prison, Reggie Beckton is back behind bars on breaking and entering and robbery charges, but he says committing crimes is not his fault.
“I’m sorry that I’m not here with my daughter. I’m sorry that I missed her first day of school. I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to be the father that she needed in her life,” Beckton said.
Wilmington Police say Beckton robbed the RBC on Market Street and the NewBridge Bank on South College Road in the last two weeks. His father called police when he saw his son’s picture on the news.
“I said, ‘Wow. That looked like me 20 or 30 years ago,’ ’cause he had a beard,” Robert Beckton said. “And I got to thinking, I got to looking and I said, ‘That’s my son. That’s Reggie.’ And then my heart went wild.”
Robert Beckton says his son started having mental problems at a young age. Reggie repeatedly refused help from his father and started committing crimes in his teens. Reggie says voices in his head tell him to do wrong.
“You’re out there on the streets with nowhere to go, no food to eat, at 3:30 in the morning, just walking, up and down the streets,” Reggie said, “and the whole time your mind is telling you, ‘Go do this. Go do that. Break into this. Go open these doors.’ The economy is down. Who’s hiring ex-felons? People with college degrees are getting laid off.”
Robert says he’s done everything he can for his son. Once again he’s trying to help set Reggie’s life straight.
“I’m not doing this interview to set him free. I’m doing this interview to get him some help,” Robert said. “If his bond was $5 today, I would not get him out, because Reggie needs help. He needs professional help.”
“I think that I need to get inside a mental institution and re-program my thoughts,” he said.
Reggie Beckton said he is seeing a psychiatrist at the jail. He said us he does not have a good relationship with his father and does not want his help. For now he’s in the jail under $410,000 bond.