Witness 911 Call: 'Stop Running Over That Guy'
Posted February 27, 2008 7:14 a.m. EST
Updated February 28, 2008 4:45 p.m. EST
Fayetteville, N.C. — A Raeford man surrendered to police Wednesday morning after being charged with murder in the death of a man who had tried to rob his wife.
Stanton Moretti Jr., 41, of 119 Raymond St., was charged with first-degree murder and was ordered held without bond at the Cumberland County Detention Center. Arrest documents cited previous assault charges to describe him as a danger to the public.
He was charged Monday with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and had been free on a $25,000 bond.
Moretti's wife, Anna Moretti, was outside Primo Pizza on Yadkin Road Friday night when Aaron McLeod approached her and tried to rob and stab her, police said. Anna Moretti called out to her husband, who came outside and fired two warning shots from a handgun he carried, police said.
McLeod fled on foot down Horseshoe Road, and Stanton Moretti got into his GMC Yukon, caught up to McLeod and struck him three times with his vehicle, police said.
Two men who called 911 to report McLeod being run over were clearly amazed to see the SUV drive over McLeod repeatedly.
"Oh, he's running over him again," one man said on the call.
"Stop running over that guy," they yelled, apparently out the window of their vehicle.
Investigators declined to say whether they found a knife on McLeod, but Stanton Moretti's attorney, Michael Boose, said a knife was found at the scene.
McLeod, 28, of 412 Horseshoe Road, died Monday at UNC Hospitals.
Stanton Moretti chased McLeod in order to subdue him, Boose said. Moretti had been assaulted in the past and the suspects got away, Boose said, and he didn't want that to happen again.
"He was chasing him. The guy wasn't stopping and either cut in front of the vehicle or was running off the road because he was able to be pursued on the road, and that's when Stan ran over him in the ditch," Boose said.
Anna Moretti suffered defensive wounds on her hands in the incident, Boose said.
Stanton Moretti has been "torn up" about the incident, Boose said. People that know Moretti, who owns Dog Pound Tattoos in Fayetteville, describe him as a big-hearted man who "doesn't have a vicious bone in his body," he said.
"Different times, different circumstances, (Moretti and McLeod) might have been co-workers. They might have shared a beer together before it was all done with," Boose said.
Moretti was arrested in September on charges of assaulting a female and misdemeanor child abuse.
According to court documents, he and his wife were yelling profanities at each other outside their house, and he admitted to a Hoke County deputy that he had rammed his Cadillac Escalade into the family's Chevrolet Suburban to keep his wife from leaving. The couple's 2-year-old son was in the Escalade at the time, according to court records.
Several misdemeanor charges against McLeod, including larceny and shoplifting, had been dismissed, according to a criminal records check.
Gilbert McLeod on Tuesday described his son as a man who didn't cause trouble. He said he thought his son approached Anna Moretti to ask for a cigarette and that he startled her.