03/06/08 — It might not be his 1st fire at Wal-Mart

View Archive

It might not be his 1st fire at Wal-Mart

By Dennis Hill
Published in News on March 6, 2008 1:45 PM

Goldsboro police say a teen-ager accused of setting fire to two area Wal-Mart stores was caught during a break-in in progress.

Investigators said Fiante Semaj Amerson, 17, East Seymour Drive, was involved in a Jan. 15 fire set at the Spence Avenue Wal-Mart as a diversion to steal from the store.

Amerson was apprehended during a break-in on Bob Braswell Court late Tuesday, investigators said, after a foot pursuit and investigation.

Police said Amerson is also suspected of causing a fire at a Wilson Wal-Mart, and that case is being investigated by the Wilson Police Department.

Wilson Investigator Jason Bradshaw did not immediately return a telephone call for comment or more details on the Wilson Wal-Mart fire.

The other men involved in the Bob Braswell Court burglary, in which $3,500 in goods were stolen, were Jamaine Eugene Rivers, 16, Mercer Street and Tramaine Santwan Surrett, 17, Courtyard Circle.

Investigators Dwayne Bevell and Doug Bethea ran after and caught two of the men, and other officers located the third a short time later, police said.

All three men were charged with felony-level counts of breaking and entering, larceny after breaking or entering and possession of stolen property.

They also all were charged with resisting, delaying or obstructing police officers because they ran when law enforcement arrived.

Rivers and Surrett were being held in lieu of $100,000 secured bond, Goldsboro police Sgt. Chad Calloway said.

Amerson was being held on $120,000 bond, and faces additional charges including burning of personal property and felonious burning of a building for the Spence Avenue Wal-Mart fire.

A juvenile involved in the Goldsboro fire, which reportedly caused $300,000 in damages, has been charged and is awaiting a court date in juvenile court, police said.