Local News

Garner Chamber Of Commerce President Arrested After Incident With Gun

Posted October 21, 2003

— Garner police have arrested 44-year-old Michael K. Nelson, president of the Garner Chamber of Commerce, on charges of assault and carrying a concealed weapon.

The arrest stems from an incident Monday night in which Nelson allegedly pointed a gun at two people during an argument.

Police found a Glock semi-automatic pistol under a seat in Nelson's car in a small gun case. The gun did not have a magazine, and the safety lock was attached, but a round was located in the chamber.

The gun was seized and placed into evidence.

According to the Garner Police Department, officers Rick Winner and Randy Smith responded to a call from the parking lot of Garner Emergency Management Service early Monday evening to investigate a "person with a gun."

A report filed by the police and based on witness statements and evidence, tells this story:

Bennie H. Davis, 26, and Tracy N. Bidwell, 30, both of 109 N. Main Street in Holly Springs, were stopped at a red light near Highway 70 and Mechanical Boulevard around 7 p.m. Monday. Davis was driving.

According to Davis and Bidwell, the driver of a white Ford Excursion, later identified as Nelson, of 1946 Sterling Hill Drive in Fuquay-Varina, began honking his horn. Davis and Bidwell told officers that Nelson was mad because they would not make a legal "right turn on red."

Davis and Nelson reportedly began to argue. Conflicting statements made by all parties to police include getting out of vehicles, opening car doors, yelling, name calling and threats.

Both vehicles drove off, but in the same direction. The arguing and name calling apparently began again near the intersection of Highway 70 and Timber Drive. Davis and Bidwell told police that Nelson pointed a gun at them.

Nelson told police that Davis and Bidwell opened their car doors while they were stopped at the intersection of Highway 70 and Timber, as if to get out of the vehicle. Nelson told police he displayed the gun in an attempt to deter Davis and Bidwell from approaching but did not point the gun at them.

Davis reportedly drove off when the light turned green, exited Highway 70 at Vandora Springs and eventually stopped in the Garner EMS parking lot.

Davis and Bidwell said they were looking for the police station when they pulled into the parking lot. Nelson also stopped in the EMS parking lot.

Statements are conflicting about the timing of which car entered the parking lot first. Nelson told police he walked up to Davis' car in the parking lot, where the arguing continued. Nelson reportedly spat on Davis' car window before leaving the area in his Ford.

While interviewing Davis and Bidwell, officers observed a white Ford Excursion driving on Vandora Springs Rd. Bidwell pointed out the Excursion to officers. The license plate matched information provided by Davis and Bidwell.

Officers Smith and Winner then stopped the Excursion, which was being driven by Nelson. Nelson told police he had a gun, at which point the officers seized it.

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