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5 Things to Know: Second Sexual Assault Reported at McAlpine Creek Greenway

...and four more stories from Aug. 6-12, 2023

A photo of an empty greenway where two sexual assaults have occurred in three weeks.
The lower portion of the McAlpine Creek Greenway has seen two sexual assaults in three weeks. (Photo by Amy Moore)

Second Sexual Assault Reported at McAlpine Creek Greenway

Police are investigating a sexual assault against a 15-year-old girl that occurred on the McAlpine Creek Greenway on Friday morning, the second sexual assault reported on that greenway in three weeks. Both incidents occurred in the lower portion of the greenway in south Charlotte.

According to a CMPD release, a 15-year-old girl called police at around 9:30 a.m. on Friday and stated that she had been jogging on the greenway near Elm Lane when she was approached by a man who was exposing himself. He then reportedly touched the girl inappropriately.

The report is similar to a sexual assault reported on the same greenway on July 22, in which a woman reported the same behavior from a man while she was walking along the greenway near Johnston Road at 7 a.m.

In both incidents, the suspect was described as a young, Black man, around 6 feet tall. When the July incident occurred, the man was reported to be wearing a blue Kentucky Wildcats hooded sweatshirt, while Friday’s suspect was reported to have dreadlocks and wearing a dark-colored sweatshirt and grey sweatpants.

Following the July incident, CMPD stated the department would increase its presence not only on McAlpine Creek Greenway but all greenways in their jurisdiction. Friday’s release stated, “CMPD will continue to provide an increased presence on McAlpine Creek Greenway and all greenways across the City.”

Missing Bull Found, Killed in West Charlotte

Authorities on Friday night found a bull that escaped from its owner on Tuesday and went unfound for three days in the area around Moores Chapel Road in west Charlotte.

A bull running down a street while a man in a car stops to film with his phone
A bull on the loose in west Charlotte. (Photo courtesy of Animal Care & Control)

A WCCB photographer captured video of the 900-pound longhorn bull on his leisurely stroll at around 7 p.m. on Tuesday following a string of strong storms that passed through the area. Following a few unsuccessful efforts to corral him, the bull made off and wasn’t seen again until he was reportedly spotted on nearby Nance Road at 1 a.m. on Thursday.

That was the last reported sighting until Friday night around 10 p.m., when CMPD reported that the bull was “no longer missing.” WSOC’s Joe Bruno later reported that the bull’s owner euthanized it at the site where it was found with CMPD officers on the scene.

Two Men Charged with Murder in Racing Crash

Police on Thursday announced the arrest of a second suspect facing murder charges for his involvement in a street-racing wreck that took the life of a teenager over the weekend.

According to CMPD, two men, 24 and 35 years old, were racing westbound down West Arrowood Road at around 7:23 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 5, when the 24-year-old, driving a 2013 Chevy Camaro, slammed into 17-year-old Ivan Galvez, who was stopped in the left turn lane on Arrowood waiting to turn onto Bramblewood Drive. The Camaro struck Galvez’s Ford Mustang in the passenger side, causing the Mustang to spin 180 degrees off the right side of the roadway and into a tree.

The driver of the Camaro fled the scene on foot but was quickly apprehended with the help of witnesses who showed police where he had gone. He was charged with second-degree murder, careless and reckless driving, and driving with no operators license. On Wednesday evening, police arrested the 35-year-old suspect, who had been racing the younger suspect in his own Camaro at the time of the wreck. The 35-year-old suspect has been charged with second-degree murder, reckless driving and spontaneous speed competition.

These arrests followed a separate murder-by-vehicle case that occurred earlier in the week. At approximately 10:09 p.m. on Sunday, first responders were called to a motor vehicle crash with injuries on Pineville-Matthews Road between Baybrook and Elm lanes, where they located a 2010 Acura TL off the right side of the road with heavy passenger side damage and a 2005 Infiniti G35 with heavy front-end damage. Medic transported the passenger of the Acura, 33-year-old Sheronda Wilson, to Atrium Health Main. She later succumbed to her injuries.

A preliminary investigation indicated that the driver of the Infiniti, a 26-year-old man, was speeding on Pineville-Matthews Road. A CMPD officer observed the speeding vehicle and attempted to conduct a traffic stop. Just prior to the CMPD officer catching up to the speeding vehicle, which was traveling southwest on Pineville-Matthews Road, the suspect struck the passenger side of the Acura. The impact of the crash caused the Acura to slide off the right side of the roadway into nearby brush. Both drivers and Wilson were all transported to Atrium Health Main with serious injuries following the crash.

Neither driver was determined to be impaired at the time of the crash. Excessive speed, failing to stop for a police vehicle, and running a red light are contributing factors in this crash.

On Monday, the suspect was released from the hospital where he had been placed under arrest on an involuntary manslaughter warrant earlier that day. Upon his release from the hospital, he was interviewed by detectives, who eventually charged him with second-degree murder, felony assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, felony possession of marijuana, felony possession with intent to sell and distribute, felony maintaining a place to keep a controlled substance, and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

Local Activist Files Suit Against CMPD Major

Attorneys Tim Emry and Xavier T. de Janon held a press conference alongside local activists on Wednesday before filing a lawsuit on behalf of Jamie Marsicano against Maj. Brad Koch with CMPD related to recent testimony Koch gave against Marsicano related to their arrest protesting Cop City in Georgia.

The attorneys allege that, due to Koch’s illegal disclosure of details regarding Marsicano’s 2020 arrest for allegedly assaulting Koch during a protest in 2020 — charges that have since been dropped and expunged — Marsicano was kept in jail for three weeks following their Cop City arrest and ordered to remain on digital surveillance by way of ankle monitor for three months following their release.

Charlotte Uprising
Attorney Tim Emry (far left) with Anthony Ferguson and Jamie Marsicano at a press conference in 2020. (Photo by Jeff Taylor)

Koch reportedly told the court he believed there was a “million-percent chance” that Marsicano would commit another felony if released on bail.

“A person’s life is forever changed when a DA says false, damaging things in a recorded, live court hearing,” said attorney Habekah Cannon in a release announcing the suit on Tuesday. “Major Koch’s targeting of Jamie from another state has caused immeasurable harm on their life.”

Learn more: Habekah Cannon Launches Abolitionist Law Firm After Being Fired

In a statement refuting the lawsuit, CMPD acknowledged that the charges were dropped “to help to heal some of the deep-rooted wounds that had been caused by previous events” but denied that Mariscano’s record had been expunged — adding that even if the charges were expunged, that would not have prohibited Koch from discussing his version of events with a separate law enforcement agency.

Local Pastor Found Dead in Northwest Charlotte

A citizen called police at around 1:09 a.m. on Aug. 5 after finding what they believed to be a dead body in a wooded area off Belmeade Drive.

Police responded along with the Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner’s Office, which confirmed the death and determined the cause to be a homicide. The victim was identified as 63-year-old Diane Lewis, known as a pastor in the Charlotte area.

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