Local News

Man in truck 'reached for gun' when stopped by Durham police officer

Posted May 7

Gerald Dwight Kessel

— A man was arrested Sunday after he reached for his gun and fled the scene when he was stopped by an officer with the Durham Police Department.

Around 9:15 a.m., an officer was responding to a call near Guess Road and Sovereign Street when he saw Gerald Dwight Kessel, 53, of Morrisville, unconscious in his truck.

According to officials, the officer noticed Kessel's truck was still in drive, so he opened the door to put the car in park. When Kessel woke up, officials said he began reaching for a gun in a holster on his right hip. The officer pushed Kessel forward and retrieved his gun.

Kessel sped away, officials said, and a five-minute car chase began.

The officer followed Kessel to Guess Road and Broad Street and arrested him in a convenience store parking lot without incident.

Kessel has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon on an officer, felony fleeing to elude, possession of a firearm by a felon, possession with intent to sell methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, maintaining a vehicle for selling narcotics and various traffic offenses.

The officer was not injured.

Kessel was being held without bond and is expected to appear in court Monday morning.


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  • Rusty Shackleford May 8, 1:01 p.m.
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    You are so right.

  • Robert Dalton May 8, 12:10 p.m.
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    So why the different with Tamir Rice who was shot within two (2) seconds of police arriving on the screen. The 911 calls reported it was a juvenile and that the gun maybe a toy. Police never assessed the situation and decided to shot first and ask questions later.

    Yet this White person with a known gun that fled is still alive.

  • Robert Dalton May 8, 12:03 p.m.
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    Why is this person not dead for reaching for his gun. Oh yeah, He is "WHITE"

  • Henry Cooper May 8, 5:46 a.m.
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    I 100% see what he is saying.

    Why do some people get shot when it can go down like this. For example compare the 14 yo shot in Texas driving off in a car and they shot into that car. This one they know he had a gun, tried to run, and they still did not have to kill him....

  • Stephen Morgan May 7, 9:12 p.m.
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    What does you post have to do with anything? Hints the keyword the man reached for his gun but was the successful. If the cop was not so close to the man and right over him he prob would of got his gun out of his holster and this would of went way differently. tamir rice already had the weapon in his hands. Parents need to teach their kids to not be out in public with a gun in your hands BB gun or not.

  • Dylan Collins May 7, 8:05 p.m.
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    So this man who reached for a gun in an altercation with police is still alive. Notice how it is very possible for a situation to end without a cop having to use deadly force. When a 12 year old boy named tamir rice was sitting in a parking lot by himself with a bb gun he deserved to be shot though right? Hope y'all remember this situation where they didn't use deadly force on a grown man pulling a gun on a cop. That police officer deserves praise for doing his job correctly.

  • Jj Parker May 7, 4:21 p.m.
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    Lock him up and toss the key away!!!! He does not belong in society with anyone!!! He can not be rehab'd to anything good or meaningful.

    Gooo by!!!!


  • Eric Rothman May 7, 3:32 p.m.
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    Life in jail!!!!!!

  • Dona Hill May 7, 2:44 p.m.
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    I am so thankful that this cop is alive. This could have gone so quickly the other way.