Local News

District Attorney's Office Looks Into Death At Crabtree Valley Mall

Posted August 27, 2001

— The district attorney's office is looking into the death of a tailor shop owner at Crabtree Valley Mall.

Police say Roger Dale Bridges, a building inspector with Wake Forest, was driving while intoxicated when he hit Jian Ping Huo, the owner of Lee's Tailor Shop, in the north parking lot at Crabtree Valley Mall.

Bridges had a blood alcohol content of .23 percent, which is nearly three times the legal limit. He was arrested and taken to the magistrate's office where his bond was set at $5,000. A magistrate said a sober adult picked up Bridges, so he did not have to pay for his own bond.

When asked why the bond was set so low, the magistrate said the suspect had ties to the community, was employed, owns land, and the magistrate seemed to think that was a reasonable amount.

The incident is being investigated by the mall's private police department. Crabtree Valley Mall officials say they followed all proper procedures.

"Our deepest sympathy goes out to the family of Mrs. Huo," said Bobby Medlin, the mall's general manager. "On behalf of Crabtree Valley Mall and all of its employees, our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this time of terrible loss."

Huo's husband, Jason Ji, says he is still shocked about the incident.

"Everybody is shocked. She was the kind of person who liked happy people," he said.

Police say Bridges apparently became intoxicated at his home and rode to the mall in a vehicle driven by a friend. After the friend whent into the store, police say Bridges started the car and began driving erratically.

Police say Bridges also hit a sign, knocked over a tree and hit three other parked cars in the area. He was charged with driving while impaired in 1998, but court records show that charge was dropped.

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