Reported assaults in downtown Wilmington leave people with questions


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police are investigating a string of reported assaults and some robberies around downtown Wilmington, but a lot of people are left wondering where and what happened?

A lot of people did not even know about the reports. Wilmington Police say the crimes could have happened over the last few months where men specifically reported being assaulted and even robbed.

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A string of reported assaults has left even business owners wondering, ‘What’s going on?’

“We haven’t been able to get any details as far exactly what happened,” Waterline Brewing Company Co-owner Mark Mueller said. “When it happened.”

Wilmington Police Spokeswoman Linda Thompson says the crimes involve men who were assaulted around closing time of bars.

“It would be nice to know if there was increased activity going on, but we don’t know that right now,” Mueller said.

But Wilmington Police do not name a specific spot or type of man being targeted.

Mueller says they have procedures in place at Waterline Brewing to avoid things like this.

“You never want to have one person closing,” Mueller said. “You never want to someone walking to their car by themselves. You never want to have someone walking home alone.”

Business owners are not alone. The Ambassador Program with Wilmington Downtown Incorporated designates people to patrol the area throughout the day and evening.

“So they’re in bright orange shirts and can identify anything that seems out of place or a little bit odd,” WDI President Ed Wolvertown said.

Wolverton says since the program started, downtown crime has also dropped more than crime in the city as a whole.

But when the sun goes down is when the crimes appear to be happening.

Mueller says he would like to see a few more officers on the block all nights of the week.

“Wilmington is a tourist town,” he said. “That means people come to the town Monday through Sunday. It’s those Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday nights where occasionally at two o’clock in the morning, there’s no one around.”

Owners like Mueller encourage everyone to always be vigilant.

Wilmington Police say the investigation into the reported assaults is ongoing.

WWAY asked Wilmington Police for specifics, but they could not provide them. They do not know if there are one or multiple suspects involved.