06/18/04 — Public records

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By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on June 18, 2004 1:56 PM

Man sued for fire

A Goldsboro resident is being sued for negligence in connection with a fire that destroyed a next-door neighbor's home after the two men had had an argument.

The property owner, Wayne Investment Inc. of Goldsboro, has filed the lawsuit in the Wayne County Clerk of Courts Office against Clifton Dean Hill of 1308 N. Carolina St.

The plaintiff says Hill argued June 11, 2003, with the neighbor, Donald Hatem, who lived at 1310 N. Carolina St. Police were called, and Hatem was arrested on other charges.

While Hatem was in police custody or in jail, the suit alleges, Hill either set fire to Hatem's house or conspired with others to do so. Hill, however, has not been charged with any offense in connection with fire.

Goldsboro fire officials called the fire suspicious and turned it over to police and the State Bureau of Investigation for a further inquiry.

The plaintiff's home, valued at $50,000, was destroyed. The lot was valued at $4,000, according to the lawsuit, and cleanup and removal costs were $3,000. The plaintiff also lost a $425 monthly rental income.

Wayne Investments, through its lawyer, Tommy Jarrett of Goldsboro, is seeking $54,675 for compensatory damages and $425 per month for future rent.

Hill has not answered the lawsuit.

Two hurt in wrecks

Two people were injured and damages were estimated at $78,950 in seven recent traffic collisions in Wayne County, officers reported.

*A driver was injured and damages were estimated at $6,950 in a car-truck collision at 11:56 p.m. Thursday on Dr. M.L. King Jr. Expressway, the U.S. 70 bypass, near a North William Street exit, Goldsboro police said. Clara Louise Adams, 47, of Old Smithfield Road, Princeton, was treated and released from Wayne Memorial Hospital. She also was charged with a safe-movement violation after her car collided with an eastbound pickup driven by Jaime Alejandro Munoz-Valdez, 26, of Hendersonville.

*Damages were estimated at $6,500 in a three-vehicle, hit-and-run crash at 12:20 p.m. Thursday at West Grantham and North Center streets, police said. A southbound car ran the stop sign, police said, and collided with a westbound auto driven by Franklin Roosevelt Coley, 64, of Stronach Avenue and then struck an eastbound sport utility vehicle driven by Jerry Richard Smith, 50, of Valley Drive. The southbound driver fled. Police said the car was registered to Tharoy Davis of Miller Avenue.

*Damages were estimated at $8,000 in a three-vehicle collision at 8:43 a.m. Thursday on an exit ramp from Dr. M.L. King Jr. Expressway, the U.S. 70 bypass, to West Grantham Street, police said. Two drivers -- Delia M. Sauls, 34, of Antioch Road, Pikeville, and Omax Gardner Powell, 75, of Friendly Road -- were charged with failure to reduce speed after the rear-end collision. The first motorist, Corey Alexander Jenkins, 30, of Cuyler Best Road, was slowing because of traffic, police said.

*A car was demolished in a hit-and-run wreck at 6:39 a.m. Tuesday on New Hope Road near Beston Road, the Highway Patrol said. The car, valued at $8,500, was registered to Derek Alexander Wetzel of South Harding Drive, troopers said. The driver had lost control of the car in a curve, and it ran off the left side and struck a ditch and a tree.

*A driver was injured and her car was demolished in a wreck at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday on U.S. 70 near Luby Smith Road, the Highway Patrol said. Doris B. Evans, 70, of Hill Circle Drive was listed today in stable condition at Wayne Memorial Hospital, a spokeswoman said. No charges were filed after the car ran off the right side and struck a driveway culvert. The car was valued at $15,000.

*Damages were estimated at $24,500 in a four-vehicle crash at 12:25 p.m. Sunday on U.S. 70 near N.C. 581, the Highway Patrol said. One driver, Elizabeth Leigh Bond, 24, of Dunn, told troopers that she had been cut off by another vehicle that was changing lanes and forced her car off the right side. Her car than collided with a parked ambulance and the impact pushed the ambulance into two other ambulances, all owned by Johnston Ambulance Service.

*Damage was put at $10,000 in a one-vehicle wreck at 8:24 a.m. Saturday on U.S. 117 near Country Club Road, the Highway Patrol said. The driver, Jason Vincent Lane, 21, of Plantation Road, was charged with failure to maintain lane control. His SUV ran off the right side, came back across the road, ran off the left side and struck a cable guardrail in the median.

Teen assaulted

A Goldsboro teen-ager was struck on the head with a brick before dawn today during a fight with three men at a Goldsboro night club, according to police.

Romel Dennis Jackson, 17, of North Center Street was taken to the Wayne Memorial Hospital emergency room for treatment and later released. The assault occurred at about 1 a.m. at Club Paradise at 802 E. Dr. M.L. King Jr. Expressway. Jackson could not describe the assailants.

Shots hit homes

Gunfire damaged homes in Dudley and Goldsboro, according to law-enforcement reports.

Exterior and interior doors, a window, a wall and a mirror were damaged Thursday night at a home in the 200 block of Sleepy Creek Road, a Wayne County Sheriff's report said. The resident, F.M. Wynn, estimated damage at $500.

A door glass was shattered today at a home in the 300 block of South Herman Street, police said. The resident, James E. Williams, put damage at $100.


Goldsboro police are investigating these reports:

*Seven pairs of shoes, five shirts, 30 DVDs, 100 compact discs and 20 video games were stolen between June 6 and Thursday after a door was damaged at an apartment in the 1100 block of East Elm Street, police said. The resident, Manuel L. Gomez, estimated the value of his property at $3,300. A second resident, Antony A. Perkins, reported the theft of a video recorder and video-game equipment, valued at $400. Damage was set at $100.

*A burglar damaged a door between Wednesday night and Thursday at an apartment on Courtyard Circle to get inside and then stole a handgun, police said. Damage was estimated at $200 at the James C. King home. The value of the firearm was not known.

*A white 1992 Oldsmobile Silhouette was stolen between Thursday and today from the 300 block of Bunche Drive, police said. The resident and owner, Manetta C. Stovall, admitted leaving the key in the ignition and the van unlocked. The van was valued at $2,000.

Dumpster fire

A dumpster fire in the 1000 block of Courtyard Circle was put out Thursday night by Goldsboro firefighters. The fire was called suspicious and was referred to police for a further investigation. Damage was estimated at $300.


Two teen-agers were reported missing Thursday by relatives to Wayne County authorities.

*Inemeka Brenda Bizzell, 16, of 337 Townsend Road was described as black, 6-feet and 160 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. She was seen last at 9 p.m. Monday. No clothing description was available.

*Parker Harris Benjamin, 15, of 210 Woodbine St. was described as white, 5-feet-11 and 147 pounds with brown hair and hazel eyes. When he was seen last at 9:10 p.m. Thursday, he was wearing blue-jean shorts and blue shoes.

Anyone with information on the location of either teen was asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 731-1481 or police at 705-6572.