Local News

Man caught in high-speed chase after store, bank robberies

Posted September 19, 2008 12:22 p.m. EDT
Updated September 19, 2008 6:42 p.m. EDT

— A Fayetteville man is accused of robbing a discount store, hijacking two cars and leading law enforcement on a high-speed chase Thursday. He also faces charges in a bank robbery Wednesday.

Investigators said that William Lee Green II, 43, of 3421 Seawall St., used a gun to rob a cashier at the Family Dollar store on Legion Road shortly after 7 p.m. He stole an undisclosed amount of money and fled into the parking lot.

Erika Walker, 64, said she was loading groceries into her Honda CRV when Green came out of nowhere. He got into the CRV and shouted, 'I'm gonna take your car!'" Walker said.

"He had the gun right in my face. I heard the clicking, and I thought, 'It's not loaded,'" Walker said. "And I was really fearless. I had to save my car. I was screaming."

Walker said they had a tug-of-war over her car key, but the key broke in half, and Green ran away.

Authorities said he found another victim in the parking lot: a man in 1999 Ford Expedition. "And he held up his hands and gave him the key. And he drove away," Walker said.

Green turned onto Legion Road and then led Cumberland County sheriff's deputies, state troopers and Hope Mills police officers on a high-speed chase through Hope Mills.

"All of a sudden, (the Expedition) stalls. ... He gets out it and abandons the car," said Debbie Tanna, a public-information officer for the Cumberland sheriff's office.

Green walked along Parkton Road and then stopped a mother and child in Nissan Sentra. He forced them out at gunpoint and took the Sentra. Neither mother or child was hurt.

The chase ended when Green crashed into a deputy's car at Canady and Seawell streets. The Sentra caught on fire, and a deputy suffered minor injuries, investigators said.

Green started to run away but surrendered when he saw that deputies were about to use their Taser guns on him, Tanna said.

A subsequent investigation by Fayetteville police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation identified Green as the suspect in a bank robbery Wednesday morning.

Green allegedly displayed a weapon and fled into the Boone Trail area with an undisclosed amount of money from the First Citizen's Bank, 1701 Owen Drive.

Walker said she believes she was lucky to escape from Green.

"One woman with two girls, she was coming to me, and she was praying with me. Said, 'You know what, you had God with you,'" Walker said.

Green was charged with one count of attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, three counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon, possession of a firearm by felon, driving while license revoked and failure to heed to light or siren. Additional charges were pending.

He was being held in the Cumberland County Detention Center Friday afternoon. He was given a $90,000 secured bond, prior to being charged in the bank robbery. His first court appearance was set for Monday.

Green was released from prison on Aug. 12 after serving nearly two years after being convicted twice of larceny over $1,000 and once for receiving a stolen vehicle, according to state Department of Correction records.

He remains on probation until October for two 2006 convictions for larceny of a motor vehicle.

The crimes for which Green received prison time and probation occurred in Cumberland County between September and October 2005.

His criminal record dates to 1984.