Local News

Three teens charged in connection with violent crime spree appear in court

Posted November 12, 2015 5:07 p.m. EST
Updated November 12, 2015 6:13 p.m. EST

— Three teens charged in a violent two-day crime spree made their first court appearance Thursday in Cumberland County.

Rodney Darnell Nesbitt, 19, Zaakimm Muhammud Caughman, 16 and Shariff Ysalaam Caughman, 17, faced charges in connection with an armed robbery and a sexual assault in Fayetteville earlier this week.

According to police, the crimes began at about 5 p.m. Tuesday when two men solicited yard work from Larry Allen, an elderly man in the 900 block of North Hill Road.

"They agreed upon a price, and then after that, one of the suspects pulled out a handgun and forced the victim back into his house," said Fayetteville police Lt. John Somerindyke. "They took his car keys and his wallet and left the area in his 2014 black Ford Mustang."

Allen said he was watching TV when Nesbitt knocked on his door. He said the man pulled a gun and forced him into the home.

"Without hesitation I went to my pants - where I keep my keys - and I pulled out my billfold first because it was in the same pocket," Allen said. "(Nesbitt) took the billfold too and I gave him the keys to the car and they drove off."

The next day police were called to investigate a sexual assault that occurred at about 2 a.m. Wednesday at the Knights Inn in the 2800 block of Bragg Boulevard.

A man approached a woman, pulled out a handgun and forced her into a vehicle, police said. He drove her to a vacant home and sexually assaulted her.

Security camera video captured a man pulling into the parking lot in a Ford Mustang and loitering outside a room. It also showed the man confronting a 24-year-old woman staying at the motel.

According to investigators, a break in the case came later Wednesday morning when an officer spotted the stolen car near Cain Road and Bragg Boulevard.

"A vehicle pursuit began...that ended over in the Tiffany Pines neighborhood," Somerindyke said. "Three suspects were taken into custody there."

Fayetteville police said that the pursuit lasted for several minutes before the driver of the stolen Mustang stopped in the area of Golden Road and Platinum Road, where the three occupants ran from the car. During the pursuit, the driver of the Mustang pointed a semi-automatic handgun at an officer, said police.

Nesbitt, of the 2100 block of Woodbine Avenue, was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon, first-degree rape, first-degree kidnapping, larceny of a motor vehicle, breaking and entering, possession of a stolen firearm, possession of stolen goods, felony fleeing to elude arrest, and assault on a law enforcement officer with a firearm.

Caughman, of the 1000 block of Cain Road, was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon, larceny of a motor vehicle, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, breaking and entering, and possession of stolen goods.

Caughman, of the 200 block of Hawthorne Road, was charged with resisting arrest and obstructing a police officer.

All three were being held at the Cumberland County Detention Center.