Police say downtown Wilmington assaults could have started in Jan. 2018 and involve at least 11 possible victims

Police say downtown Wilmington assaults could have started in Jan. 2018 and involve at least 11 possible victims

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Investigators with the Wilmington Police Department believe a series of assault cases in which men were the victims could have started as far back as January of 2018 and include eleven potential victims.

According to police, several of the initial reports came in listed as misdemeanor crimes with limited information, making it difficult to investigate. They say the date and times of the alleged crimes were also sporadic but happened in the downtown area near bar closing times.

Police say there was a four-month lag time between some incidents, and some details are limited due to the condition of the victims at the time they happened.

Investigators, however, have identified four people who may have been sexually assaulted and say seven people were military personnel.

Wilmington police officials have mostly remained tight-lipped about the details surrounding the alleged assaults after WECT initially began asking questions on Monday. Hours after reaching out to the WPD, a police spokeswoman issued a news release with limited details acknowledging some of the assaults.

On Tuesday, Deputy Chief Donny Williams refused to divulge any additional information, claiming the investigation was ongoing.

Wilmington police say patrols have been increased downtown and detectives are actively investigating these crimes.

If you have any information about assaults in the downtown area please contact the Wilmington Police Department at 910-343-3609 or use Text-a-Tip or call Crime Stoppers at 800-531-9845.

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