Local News

Men Who Caught Suspects Called Vigilantes by Police

Posted November 22, 1996 12:00 a.m. EST

— Four Harnett County men face possible kidnapping charges after taking the law into their own hands. While police say the men may have broken the law, some people see them as heroes.

One of the men police are calling vigilantes says he saw three men (pictured above) grab his sister off the street and try to rape her. That, he says, motivated him and his cousins to grab the three men and take them to the Dunn Police Department.

The Dunn Police Chief says, no matter what the motivation, he won't tolerate vigilantes in the streets of his town.

James Pressley pictured, right) told WRAL TV5'sMark Robertswhat happened when his 17-year-old sister was attacked.

The three men Pressley and his cousins apprehended are charged with attempted rape and kidnapping. They'll be telling their stories in court.

Pressley says he didn't want to hear their stories. He says he and his cousins used sticks to force the three men into a car and take them to the police.

People in Pressley's neighborhood say they support what he did. Neighbor Stanley Ray (pictured at left) says there are two sides to the story.

But police say they don't want people to take such action. Police Chief Kenny sills (pictured at right) says there are other ways to deal with the situation.

It will be up to the Harnett County District Attorney to decide what, if any, action to take against Pressley and those who helped him. Chief Sills says the law was broken and he has recommended that kidnapping charges be levied against those he calls the vigilantes.

The police report says the so-called vigilantes used a handgun to get the suspects into the car. Pressley and his cousins say they only used the sticks.

Pressley says his sister is physically unharmed, but is shaken up and afraid to go out of the house by herself.