In response to a Greenville Daily Reflector editorial about the handling of the Tie Breakers case, the Greenville Police Department has issued a statement.
The statement follows. You can click on the related link below to read the editorial.
GREENVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT
JUNE 5, 2009
This statement is in direct response to the Editorial: “Full account
-Facts,explanation needed from city police”.
After reviewing the editorial entitled, "Full account - facts, explanation needed from the city police”, and the original story dated June 2, 2009, (in the Greenville Daily Reflector) the Greenville Police Department is releasing the following statement to explain the Departments position concerning the assault that occurred on March 22, 2009, at Tie Breakers. This is and has been an ongoing criminal investigation of which some details of the investigation cannot be released. After reviewing both the editorial and the story dated June 2, 2009, it is clear key points were not printed by the Reflector that were clearly documented in the preliminary police report, which the reporter used as a reference in his story. These omissions were misleading and were a disservice to the public and the Department. These are the facts of the investigation including times and locations of actions taken by our officers.
On Sunday, March 22, 2009 at 1:36 am, Greenville Police responded to Tie Breakers, located at 1920-A Smythewyck Drive, in reference to a person that had been assaulted. At 1:37 am, the first officer arrived on the scene, where EMS was loading the victim, Christopher Michael Meadows, for transport to Pitt County Memorial Hospital. Officers began their investigation by interviewing those who were willing to talk with police. An independent witness reported to police that Mr. Meadows grabbed the buttocks of a female after which her husband punched him in the face. Officers also interviewed the suspect, who admitted to hitting Mr. Meadows. The suspect told the police that he was dancing with his wife and that Mr. Meadows grabbed his wife’s buttocks. The suspect went on to explain that when he confronted Mr. Meadows, he was shoved and that he then hit Mr. Meadows.
At 2:10 am on March 22, the suspect was arrested for the offense of Assault Inflicting Serious Injury. At the scene, no one mentioned the use of a beer bottle during the assault. At 2:20 am, the suspect was taken before a Pitt County Magistrate. After hearing what the officer knew from the scene and at the time, the magistrate found no probable cause for the arrest, and ordered the release of the suspect. It was explained to the suspect at that time that criminal charges could be filed later. At 2:51 am on March 22, the investigating officer spoke with Mr. Meadows at the hospital, who stated he could not remember anything that transpired. This piece of information was omitted in the June 2, 2009, story and subsequent editorial. However, it is clearly mentioned in the officer’s report. The officer was unaware of the seriousness of the injuries to Mr. Meadows.
Several days later, the mother of Mr. Meadows contacted the Major Crimes Unit of the Greenville Police Department. The mother informed detectives her son was in the Intensive Care Unit as result of his injuries sustained on March 22, 2009. After receiving this new information, detectives began investigating the case further by trying to contact the witnesses. On April 7, 2009, detectives contacted the original witness who reported what he saw during the incident. This witness told detectives he saw the suspect hit Mr. Meadows and Mr. Meadows did not grab the buttocks of the suspect’s wife. Detectives also re-contacted the victim Mr. Meadows to get more names of possible witnesses who were present at the time of the assault. On April 23, 2009, detectives spoke with another witness who stated the suspect hit Mr. Meadows with a beer bottle. This witness is the first person to mention the use of a beer bottle during the assault.
Detectives have diligently and continually investigated this matter so that the facts of the incident can be presented to the Grand Jury and for later use by the district attorney. It is my opinion that our police officers and detectives acted appropriately at the scene and at the hospital with the amount of information provided at the time of the incident. While it is regrettable that Mr. Meadows was the victim of a crime, the Department has investigated this matter and developed leads and information as it would in any case to ensure all of the facts that are available are made known.
William J. Anderson
Chief of Police
(End of statement)