Police: Wilmington man ‘late for work’ wanted for hit-and-run


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police is searching for Robert Patrick Emerson after he allegedly hit a bicyclist with his car, drove away, and then told officers it was because he was “late for work.”

According to a news release, a bicyclist was crossing the intersection of Wrightsville Avenue and Country Club, despite having a red light, around noon Thursday. According to witnesses, as Emerson approached the intersection, he sped through his yellow light. Police say the front bumper of Emerson’s car struck the victim’s front tire, launching the victim into the air. The victim reportedly landed on the windshield of the car and rolled off the hood into traffic.

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The victim began to move his bike out of the road when the suspect verbally assaulted him, police say. The suspect then swerved around the victim, who was still in the road with his damaged bike, and reportedly drove away.

WPD says two witnesses then got into their car and followed the suspect until they were able to obtain Emerson’s registration number. The witnesses then returned to the scene and gave the victim a ride to a bicycle shop to get it repaired.

Emerson, 28, is charged with hit and run leaving the scene with property damage.

Although bicyclists are required to obey the same traffic laws as vehicles, WPD will not charge the victim for failing to stop at the red light.