WPD: Second arrest made after 17-year-old girl fatally struck on MLK Parkway
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Police have arrested two people after a 17-year-old Brunswick County girl was hit and killed on a busy Wilmington roadway early Sunday morning.
Joseph Leopold Small Jr., 59, of Wilmington, was taken into custody Monday night and charged with felony hit and run resulting in serious injury/death, robbery with a dangerous weapon, and second-degree kidnapping.
Police say the passenger and owner of the vehicle, identified as 69-year-old Rebecker Wilson, was also arrested and charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon and second-degree kidnapping. The two live at the same North Kerr Avenue home, officials say.
A spokesperson for the WPD said the kidnapping and robbery charges are not connected to the deadly hit-and-run. The spokesperson said detectives have declined to release additional details about the two incidents.
A prior news release from the WPD stated officers responded to the Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway near Kerr Avenue just after 2 a.m. Sunday after receiving a call about a female lying in the middle of the roadway.
“Upon arrival officers discovered a deceased female. At this time, it is being treated as a hit/run fatality,” a news release from the WPD stated. A police spokesperson declined to release the victim’s name due to her age.
Arrest warrants obtained Wednesday allege that Small and Wilson used a handgun to rob a person, who was at least 16 years old, of an iPhone 6 and an iPhone 7 on Sunday. The name of the alleged victim in the armed robbery was whited out on the warrants.
Small and Wilson were arrested around 9:30 p.m. Monday, just hours after photos were released of a hit-and-run suspect on the Wilmington Police Department’s Facebook page.
The WPD previously announced that investigators were looking for the driver of a silver, 2012 Chrysler Town and Country van. Small was believed to be operating the van as a vehicle-for-hire, picking up fares from downtown Wilmington prior to and during bar closing time; however, the vehicle is not a registered taxi for hire.
Small is currently in the New Hanover County Jail under a $500,000 bond while Wilson received an $80,000 bond.
If you have any information, contact the Wilmington Police Department at (910)-343-3609 or use the Wilmington, NC PD app for anonymous methods. You can also text an anonymous tip to 847411 (tip411) by including the keyword WPDNC.
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