Gang Concerns Prompt Tighter Security in Sampson County
Posted September 21, 2007 6:53 p.m. EDT
Clinton, N.C. — Security was tightened Friday night at high school football games in Sampson County after 10 teens were held hostage in a Salemburg home last weekend.
Two armed men and an accomplice entered a house at 1185 N. Salemburg Highway at about 1 a.m. Sunday and ordered the 10 Lakewood High School students inside to empty their pockets and lie on the floor, authorities said. The gunmen fired several shots inside the home, but no one was injured.
The teens were held at gunpoint for several hours, and one of the gunmen forced them to smoke marijuana and tried to force them to perform sexual acts upon each another, authorities said. The gunmen later fled.
Terrance O'Brian Parker, 20, and Wayne Bernard Fleming, 20, both of 111 Myrtle Road in Roseboro, and Orman Rashan Carroll, 21, of 267 Hanson Road in Clinton, have been charged in the case.
Sampson County Sheriff Jimmy Thornton said the incident appears to be gang-related.
"We have the same problems in rural Sampson County that your bigger metropolitan areas have. The only difference is it's not on as large a scale," Thornton said.
The sheriff said he plans to beef up patrols at schools across the county, including functions like athletic games. Sampson County Schools also plan to require fans at football games to pass through metal detectors.
School Superintendent Stewart Hobbs said he wants to boost gang awareness in area schools. Concerns about clothes with gang symbols could even lead to a policy requiring all students to wear uniforms, he said.
"I'm not saying we're going to them. I'm just saying I think it's an opportune time for our school board to visit school uniforms," Hobbs said. "Rural communities have got to wake up and open their eyes and accept that there's a problem out there."
The school district has provided counselors at Lakewood High since the kidnapping.