Wilmington Police Chief discusses downtown assaults

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — After 11 men are allegedly assaulted, some of them sexually, the Wilmington Police Chief is finally speaking out.

Police believe it is one suspect who has been committing all of these assaults. However, because all of the subjects were intoxicated at the time, they say they don’t have much of a description.

“What’s common here is that they were in bars, they’re drinking all night, they leave alone, they don’t remember anything from that point on, and they wake up the next morning somewhere,” Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous said. “That’s what we know. We don’t know where, we don’t know if they were in a car, or on foot.”

Out of 11 confirmed cases, seven were members of the Marine Corps or Army, and four of the 11 were possibly sexually assaulted.

“Is it truly that they’ve been drugged or so inebriated they don’t remember, or is it because they’re embarrassed and they don’t want to talk about it? Evangelous asked rhetorically. “You’re talking military, you’re talking this kind of macho attitude.”

As far as police know, the alleged sexual assaults didn’t start until this past summer. However, something about the cases led police to make a connection to other assaults and robberies dating back to January 2018.

“There’s something else that we cannot discuss, because it’s at this point critical to the case,” Evangelous said. “But there’s something else going on that… it’s the same person.”

Chief Evangelous says they are working with the Naval Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS) and the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID) to re-interview victims and try to get a suspect description. They will also be working with task forces to patrol downtown.

“We’ll be working this weekend, but especially next weekend, which is Halloween weekend which is pretty crazy down there,” he said.

Evangelous says if you’re going out, travel in groups, don’t leave your drink unattended, and don’t get inebriated. If you have any information about any assaults downtown, call Wilmington Police or use Text-a-Tip.

Categories: Local, New Hanover

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