Local News

Man In Custody After Johnston County Hostage Situation, Chase

Posted January 24, 2006

— A hostage situation at a Johnston County machinery plant ended Monday evening with a two-county chase that put a suspect in jail and a sheriff's deputy in the hospital.

At about 7:30 p.m., a part-time employee, Michael Wilson Akins Jr., 22, of Garner, walked into the Caterpillar plant in Clayton and demanded to see his girlfriend, a full-time employee, according to the Johnston County Sheriff's Office. Apparently, the two had been in an argument earlier in the day, authorities said.

When a security guard and two employees tried to talk to Akins, he brandished a gun, and took a male nurse, on duty at the plant, hostage, authorities said. The suspect then took the nurse to the parking lot, stole his car and cellular phone, but left the nurse unharmed.

Investigators said Akins then fled on N.C. Highway 42 East, where a Johnston County sheriff's deputy began following him all the way into Wilson County. Speeds reached up to 70 mph, authorities said. When the two vehicles approached the intersection of N.C. 42 and Interstate 95, the two vehicles were involved in a wreck.

The deputy, whose name was not released, suffered minor injuries and was transported to Wilson Regional Hospital for treatment. Akins was not injured and was taken to the Johnston County Jail.

Court records show that Akins was convicted in 2002 for carrying a concealed weapon.

He now faces a number of charges including kidnapping, armed robbery and fleeing from authorities. During a court appearance Tuesday morning, Akins was granted a court-appointed attorney.

This is the second time in 14 months someone's pulled a gun inside. On Nov. 4, 2004 Pam Arizona held three people at gunpoint after a friend was fired. Arizona later pleaded guilty to kidnapping.

"Something has occurred. It is a concern, yes," said Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell. "We'll be looking at what other measures, if any, we feel are appropriate to put into place up there."

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