Local News

Chapel Hill honors brothers who thwarted apparent kidnapping

Posted June 21, 2010 5:48 a.m. EDT
Updated June 22, 2010 8:52 a.m. EDT

— Two Chatham County brothers who helped foil an apparent kidnapping last month in downtown Chapel Hill received the key to the city Monday evening.

"It was an act of extraordinary selfless heroism,” Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt said.

Joey Shelton said he and his brother, Freddie, were running errands on May 12 when they saw a man grab an 18-year-old woman who was jogging along Columbia Street. The man was dragging her to a nearby car when the Sheltons intervened.

They backed up their Cadillac to block the exit to the parking lot, and the man then let the woman go. As the man fled, he ran into Joey Shelton with his car, knocking him onto the hood and then into the street.

Melissa Williams, who saw the altercation unfold, got the man's license plate number for police.

"I was like, 'Oh no buddy, you are not getting away with this,'” Williams recalled.

Theodore James Walker, 26, of 108 Timber Hollow Court in Chapel Hill, was arrested a short time later, and police said they found a loaded shotgun and a baseball bat in his car and condoms in his pants pocket.

Walker is charged with second-degree kidnapping, assault on a female and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and is being held in the Orange County jail.

The Shelton brothers and Williams were honored Monday for their heroism during the City Council's evening meeting. The mayor said their acts of bravery have helped bring the town together.

"This community in recent years has been scared by acts of violence,” Kleinschmidt said. “You have changed this place.”

Joey Shelton said he is still recovering from injuries he received that day. He said he talks to the woman he rescued on the phone regularly and that she has become like a little sister to him.

"Most importantly, the young lady is fine and I am really interested to see what is ahead for her future,” he said.