Local News

Wake County Social Worker Assaulted on the Job

Posted February 5, 2008 3:59 p.m. EST
Updated February 5, 2008 8:10 p.m. EST

— Wake County Human Services is evaluating its security practices following an attack on a social worker at its offices on Tuesday.

According to an arrest warrant, Jerrica Newchta Culbreth, 28, of 308 E. Main St. in Garner, punched the female worker "repeatedly about her face and body" and kicked her repeatedly, causing serious bodily injury.

The victim, Eleanor Lee, 41, was taken to Rex Hospital, where she was listed in stable condition late Tuesday afternoon.

The assault occurred at the Human Services offices at 220 Swinburne St. around noon. Three security guards were on duty at the time, but the five-story building has no security checkpoints or metal detectors.

"Anybody can walk in our building and walk on any floor," said Joan Peebles, who works there. "That's a concern."

After the assault, employees said they received a voicemail from their supervisors, assuring them the county is looking at ways to improve security.

A spokesman for the county confirmed officials are evaluating their security procedures in light of the incident.

Culbreth, who officials said was a client, was arrested and charged with felony assault inflicting serious injuries.

He was in jail Tuesday afternoon under a $25,000 secured bond and was expected to appear in Wake County District Court Wednesday morning.