CHAPEL HILL: Suspect in custody after UNC issues emergency alert - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Suspect in custody after UNC issues emergency alert

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Chapel Hill Police escort a suspect after he was arrested with knives near UNC's campus. Chapel Hill Police escort a suspect after he was arrested with knives near UNC's campus.
Chapel Hill Police arrest a man suspected of making threats on UNC's campus. Chapel Hill Police arrest a man suspected of making threats on UNC's campus.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Chapel Hill Police say a suspect is in custody after the University of North Carolina issued an emergency notification Sunday of a potentially armed and dangerous person on or near campus.

The university issued an alert around 4:20 p.m. after a man displayed a knife or knives near the Pit on UNC's campus. Police say the man fled the area and was later arrested on East Franklin Street outside the Chapel of the Cross Episcopal Church.  The rector of the church says the man made was found inside the building.

"Somehow (the man) got into our dish room and barricaded himself by pushing the freezer in front of the door, and somehow they talked him out of that without incident," Rector Stephen Elkins-Williams told WNCN.

Ever Castro, a junior, said he saw one man following another man and yelling at him, starting at the student union and continuing to the student dining hall. Two other students tried to help the man being followed, he said.

"And then the man was following them even then, and he followed them almost all of the way back to the union and at that point, that's when I saw that he had the knives," Castro told The Associated Press.

Officers said the man had knives on his person at the time of his arrest.

In addition to issuing an emergency notification, the university said it also activated its sirens and advised all students, faculty and staff to stay indoors until further notice.

The university said it activates sirens "when there is a significant emergency or immediate health or safety threat to the campus community."

Authorities also had locked the doors to Carmichael Arena, the site of an NCAA women's tournament game between the Tar Heels and the University of Tennessee at Martin.

An all-clear was announced around 5:20 p.m.

Police said no injuries have been reported.

Same man accused in separate incident

The same man arrested on Sunday is also accused of threatening a man with a knife on Saturday night in Chapel Hill.  UNC student Peter Diaz tells WNCN he was eating with a friend at the Old Chicago restaurant on Franklin Street on Saturday night around 9:30 when a man started staring at him, then shined a laser pointer at him before pulling out a switchblade.  That's when Diaz and his friend ran.  Others in the area alerted the restaurant management and police, Diaz said.

"We were worried almost the whole night last night that he would come looking for us," Diaz said.  "We were really confused as to why some random individual would chase after us with a laser pointer.  It was really odd."

Diaz said he recognized the man after seeing photos of his arrest on Sunday.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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