Local News

Deputies: Man hoped hold-ups would earn deportation

Posted January 31, 2009 2:30 p.m. EST
Updated February 2, 2009 9:45 a.m. EST

— The New Hanover County Sheriff's Office says that a man twice held a store clerk up at gunpoint Friday evening in hopes of getting deported to Mexico.

A clerk at the Scotchman No. 181 store called authorities around 5 p.m., saying that a man had tried to rob the store at 5302 Carolina Beach Road a half-hour earlier, Deputy Charles G. Smith said in a press release. The man displayed a gun but left the store on foot without taking money or harming the clerk.

Deputies searched the area but did not find anyone matching the suspect description.

About three hours later, deputies rushed to the store again after getting a hold-up alarm, Smith said. When they arrived, a man was pointing a gun at the clerk.

While deputies and Wilmington police officers positioned themselves around the store, the gunman left the store, still holding the clerk at gunpoint. Smith said that deputies were able to disarm and apprehend the man without incident.

Investigators said they learned that the man refused to take any money from the clerk and wanted to get deported to Mexico.

Deputies identified the alleged gunman as Jose Luis Medina-Ruiz, 37, of Wilmington. They charged him with attempted robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and two counts each of second-degree kidnapping and hoax by false bomb or other device.

Medina-Ruiz remained in the New Hanover County Detention Center under a $135,000 secured bond Saturday afternoon.