Local News

Cary bank hostage claims police mistreatment

Posted February 26, 2011
Updated February 28, 2011

— A Cary man who was held hostage in a bank earlier in February says that police treated him roughly when he was released.

Police say that Devon Mitchell, 19, claimed to have a gun and held as many as seven people hostage at a Wachovia bank on Feb. 10. He let five hostages, including Rev. Lee Everett, leave over the course of three hours.

As he escaped, Everett said, police mistook him for the hostage-taker. He said officers immediately jumped him, kneed him in the back and neck and forced him to ground.

"I remember them screaming, 'Shut up, shut up, shut up,' and I'm trying to say, 'You all going to kill me,'" Everett said. lee everett Web only: Full interview with Cary bank hostage  "They just grabbed my arm, they bent my arm back, and they just went to town on my little tail."

Everett said he yelled that he was a hostage, but police didn't realize he wasn't the suspect until they had dragged him across the parking lot and over a fence.

The standoff at the bank on Green Level Church Road ended when Mitchell left the bank holding what appeared to be a gun to the head of a woman and was shot by law enforcement.

Mitchell had a baby face and a lost look, Everett recalled.

"There was just an empty look to his face," he said. "He didn't look like he wanted to kill nobody. He wanted help because he never asked for any money."

Everett, who is black, filed a complaint against police this week, claiming that he was treated differently than the six other white hostages. Police knew the hostage-taker was a black man from a description given to a 911 dispatcher during a call from inside the bank.

The caller described the hostage-taker's purple shirt and red pants. Everett said he was wearing a Harris-Teeter smock and had come from the grocery store, where he works as a produce manager.

Everette worries what would have happened to him if he had left the bank with a female hostage, who he had tried to convince to leave with him. She stayed because Mitchell had told only men to leave, he said.

"The first thing I see when I get back home – them shooting that boy," Everett said. "And I said to myself then, I begged that little girl to leave with me. If she'd have walked out that bank with me, what would have happened to me?"

An officer apologized after the incident and said they didn't know that he was a hostage, Everette said.

"I said, 'You still don't have to do me like that. You're supposed to protect me, and you (are) the guys to do me in,'" he said. "It was so wrong to treat me like they did."

Everett was taken to the hospital after the incident. He said he suffered ripped muscles in his arm and severe bruising and still has nightmares.

hostage speaks out Cary bank hostage says police treated him brutally

Cary spokeswoman Susan Moran said that the town has asked the Wake County District Attorney's Office and State Bureau of Investigation to look into these allegations, so "everyone would have the trust and confidence in the police department and their actions."

"We take it extremely seriously. And if we find that we have staff members that haven't upheld our expectations, they are gone," Moran said.

The results of the investigation will be posted on the town of Cary's website for the public to see, she said.

Police have not determined what might have been Mitchell's motive, but investigators and friends have said that he was mentally troubled. Investigators have said that although Mitchell did not have a gun, he wanted people to believe that he did.

The four Cary police officers and one Wake County sheriff's deputies who fired shots have been placed on administrative duty, pending a state investigation of the incident. That follows standard procedure whenever an officer discharges a weapon.

56 Comments

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  • Honky Mar 4, 2011

    If a crazed hostage taker that was blathering religious rhetoric and asking that whomever he talked to be of the same ethnicity as himself and I was inside said place of incident, and I were a reverend I believe I would try to talk the perpetrator out of his current plan of action. BUT, the rev had places to go fruits and vegetables to see, and no interest in trying to save that psychopaths life. Did I mention it was only the lighter colored folks who tried to talk him out of dieing? Lets not lose sight of who the victims were here. And the rev and Devon Mitchell are not the victims

  • locaamericana Mar 3, 2011

    I bet if someone waved money in his face, his view may change. there have been times in the past where a robber would change clothes with a victim to try and get away. I stand behind my Cary Police Department!

  • Honky Mar 1, 2011

    As someone who is personally involved in the incident, I would like to thank everyones kind words for the victims who arent rascist preachers and to thank everyone for not buying what the reverend is selling.

  • stormy Mar 1, 2011

    Oh my another racial excuse. If it had been a black cop that treated him that way nothing would have been said. Go ahead a pay him his millions because he want shut-up until you do and then we will have to hear Barber runs his mouth again.

  • diana123 Mar 1, 2011

    he has great command of the English language.

  • hspd367 Mar 1, 2011

    Why is there still the racial comparison....? I was treated differently than the "white" people. Give me a break, having been in law enforcement for sometime, when it comes to situations such as these LEO are colorblind. There is no "hey there is a black guy or african american, lets jump on him". Not the case, it is pure safety complimented with adrenaline. You probably cannot relate unless you have experienced. To note anyone could be a suspect, and I believe if a "white person" came out instead of the Rev here, the treatment would be the same. It is unfortunate that situations like these draw out the blood sucking lawyers and those whom wish to pull the race card. It is a tragegy, but the police did not drive the true suspect to rob a bank, say he had a gun and concealed his hand as if he had one.. These events were driven by the suspect. So if you need to sue someone/complain on someone, that would be the responsible party. Oh wait, you cant.. thus the mot$ve here.

  • HEAFIE200 Mar 1, 2011

    Ok, this is disgusting, and unfortunately we are giving in to the good "reverends" "face-time" on tv. HE WANTS MONEY. I agree with everyone - if he knew that man DID NOT have a gun, then why didn't he tell the CPD - oh that is right, they were "roughing" him up and trying to kill him - yea, right!
    The suspect could have changed clothes - though sadly, Im pretty sure he wanted to committ suicide, but couldn't do it himself, so he did it the hard way, took hostages and walked out with what they thought was a gun, death by cop.
    Is the reverent thinking of the police officer who had to shoot this guy, nope, just the opposite - he is thinking how "glad he was he didn't walk out with that woman", and the money he is trying to get from the town of Cary. Amazing what people will do for a buck.

  • Pandoras Box Mar 1, 2011

    This guy needs to get a grip on reality. I heard his "story" last night and was amazed anyone is even paying any attention to him. The CPD did their JOB. It wasn't racist it wasn't over the top. Sadly he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but he came out of it and isn't dead. WOW you'd think there would be some shread of gratitude. As to the suspect, if you break the law and threaten people's lives then guess what, it is POSSIBLE that you'll lose your life in the process - and if that happens it's no one's fault except your own. I do think you guys are right about this person getting exactly what he wants - air time and the possibility of money. Sad. There will be no sympathy from me. Thank you CPD for doing your JOB and keeping all hostages ALIVE.

  • MilkandPepsi2 Mar 1, 2011

    he just wants money.

  • gonesunning Mar 1, 2011

    So.... if he did't look like he "wanted to kill nobody", and he "didn't THINK he had a gun", why didn't the good ole rev just take him aside and invite him to his house for Sunday dinner! Unbelieveable........

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