Bladenboro man rescued from ditch following beating, apparent robbery

A Bladenboro resident was found in a ditch Saturday morning following an apparent robbery and beating, according to a Facebook post from the Bladenboro Mayor.
Published: Nov. 28, 2022 at 7:41 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 28, 2022 at 6:16 PM EST
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BLADENBORO, N.C. (WECT) - A Bladenboro resident was found in a ditch Saturday morning following an apparent robbery and beating, according to a Facebook post from Bladenboro Mayor David Hales.

Per the post, Bladenboro EMS, Bladen County EMS and Bladenboro Fire/Rescue Station 51 responded to a call concerning an injured person off Butler Mill Road just before 11 a.m. On arrival, crews found Demetreus Powell, 40, in a small ditch beside his driveway.

Authorities believe Powell had been severely beaten and robbed at home on Friday. While attempting to get help, Powell appears to have fallen out of a motorized wheelchair into the ditch. It’s unclear when the attack happened.

Powell was flown to New Hanover Regional Medical Center to be treated for head trauma.

“This was another incident where a person was severely injured and basically left for dead just to rob them of what they had,” said Mayor David Hales in the post. “This is a cowardice and evil act and hopefully the perpetrators will be punished. I have spoken with our BPD Chief and we are going to do all we can to bring this to a stop. If you notice any suspicious activity please report it immediately.”

This comes just weeks after a similar incident in Bladenboro. In that case, a man was assaulted while walking home and left in a ditch. He also suffered a head injury in the attack, which also seemed to stem from an attempted robbery.

Despite the similarities in the attack, Bladenboro PD and the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office do not believe the two are connected. Right now, the two agencies are not collaborating in the investigations; however, that could change.

“As time progresses, the Bladenboro Police Department and the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office will determine if these two cases are linked. If they do, we’ll work together with our partners,” said Bladenboro Police Chief William Howell.

Investigators are already following several leads as to who is responsible for Powell’s attack. As for the assault on Davis, Howell says that investigation remains a top priority.

In the meantime, Chief Howell urges Bladenboro residents to stay alert.

“I would advise that everyone be aware of their surroundings, especially as the Christmas season is approaching,” said Howell. “Things tend to happen on a more regular basis so just be aware of your surroundings. We want the community to know that we’re pursuing every avenue in this investigation that we can and like I said, it’s still a priority investigation.”