RALEIGH N.C. – A police search operation turned into a high-stress situation that has left one officer injured and placed two young men in custody.
According to a report, Raleigh Police officers arrived on Talserwood Drive in Southeast Raleigh on May 10th with a search warrant that named 18-year-old Willie Harvey Witherspoon Jr., and a 17-year-old male. Police reportedly found the two individuals along with two companions inside a vehicle. When the officers approached the young men, they allegedly detected the smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle. All four occupants were temporarily detained.
As officers began to search the vehicle, one of the individuals named in the warrant allegedly headbutted one of the officers, who was later brought to the hospital for treatment. The other officers tackled the young man to the ground. When officers resumed the search, Mr. Witherspoon allegedly attempted to flee but was quickly caught by officers. The whole commotion started to draw a large number of people, requiring additional officers to be deployed at the scene for crowd control. Both individuals were taken into custody, while their two companions were released.
During the search, Mr. Witherspoon was allegedly found in possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and items related to previously reported burglaries.
Marijuana is a Schedule VI controlled substance that is punished less harshly than other substances such as heroin or LSD (Schedule I). In North Carolina, simple possession of up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana is a misdemeanor. Trafficking in marijuana which is the most serious marijuana crime in North Carolina, involves a minimum of 10 pounds.
All individuals accused of crimes are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.