Local News

Man escapes armed robbery, leads police to home invasion

Posted January 16, 2009

— A shirtless man who escaped from a home invasion directed Durham police officers to a house where armed men had duct-taped three other men Thursday night.

Officers responded to calls about a break-in going on at 106 N. Maple St. around 11:30 p.m. but discovered they had been given the wrong address, police said.

When they started patrolling the area, a man wearing only shorts and no shoes despite the freezing temperatures ran up to Officer Jesus Sandoval. The man said he had escaped from the house where the home invasion occurred.

Inside the house in the 600 block of Maple Street, officers found three men bound with duct tape. Officers also found one suspect, Richard Williams Williams, 40, hiding in the house.

Another man wearing a bandanna over his face ran out the back door when Officers C.A. Fennell and S.J. Kimball approached the back of the house. After a brief foot chase, the officers arrested Bobby Samuel Matthews III, 32.

The victims told police the suspects had forced their way into the house and demanded money. The armed men, victims said, used knives to cut one man's head and leg and a second man's wrist when they couldn't produce enough money.

One suspect also fired a shot into the floor, victims told police.

The three victims were treated at Duke University Hospital and released.

Investigators recovered two firearms from the house.

Williams and Matthews were each charged with nine counts of felony conspiracy, one count of first-degree robbery and three counts each of robbery with a dangerous weapon, second-degree kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury. Police also charged Matthews with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Each suspect was held in the Durham County Jail under a $2.5 million bond Friday.

Matthews was on probation for possession of a firearm by a felon, according to state Department of Correction records. His criminal records dates to 1994 and includes convictions for selling drugs and assault on a female.

Williams also has convictions for conspiring to sell drugs in his record, which dates to 1989.


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  • Paladin2 Jan 16, 2009

    Ya think it's time to start putting the bad guys in prison instead of on probation!

  • fatchanceimwrong Jan 16, 2009

    At least they'll have a tv in the jailhouse on which to watch the black man's champion get sworn into office. One step forward (Obama) and two steps back (these thugs) for the black community.

  • whocares Jan 16, 2009

    Here we go again. Another convicted felon on parole and carrying a gun. Put the guy in prison for a long time and be done with it. Do not pass GO and do not collect $100 dollars.

  • nonemeant Jan 16, 2009

    I am glad Beverly Perdue is shaking up the State probation office. This is getting to be ridiculous!!

  • 68_polara Jan 16, 2009

    Great job C.A. Fennell, S.J. Kimball, and other officers! Thank You!

    "Matthews was on probation for possession of a firearm by a felon"

    By the way why on earth was this Matthews guy out on probation? He's going to kill somebody.

  • smcallah Jan 16, 2009

    Yes, I'm sure he meant to stop and grab a shirt as he was running for his life.

    You must be so calm under the most extreme of pressures to be able to question what someone wore when they ran away from an armed home invasion.

  • tinker11212 Jan 16, 2009

    "Shirtless!?? Its so cold in the D! Whats he thinking?"

    guess he figured, better cold outside then cold in the grave. getting out was probably the only thing on his mind at the time.

  • TStills Jan 16, 2009

    Shirtless!?? Its so cold in the D! Whats he thinking?