First Posted: 1/15/2009
Mark Locklear-Staff writer
LUMBERTON - A Lumberton teenager who was kidnapped at gunpoint and stuffed in the trunk of his car for three hours was freed after his captors tried to avoid a state Highway Patrol roadblock near Lumberton.
The troopers made the discovery after the car approached a roadblock on N.C. 72 East in Lumberton at about midnight Friday, turned off its lights and made a U-turn in an attempt to escape. After a pursuit of about two miles, the driver lost control and crashed into a ditch. One suspect was caught within minutes by a canine unit, but the driver got away.
Troopers found 17-year-old Patrick Prevatte locked in the trunk of his green Chevrolet. Prevatte, who lives on North Walnut Street, suffered minor injuries.
Clarence Jamar Graham, 17, of 351 Marigold Lane, Lumberton, was charged with kidnapping, armed robbery, resisting arrest and assault on a law enforcement officer. His was jailed under $251,000 bail.
Prevatte told authorities that he was driving alone on Second Street at about 9 p.m. when four people in another car came up behind him at a traffic light at the corner of Pine Street.
“He said three black males and one black female motioned for him to pull over,” said Lumberton police Lt. Mickey Biggs. “He stopped and one of the men got out and put a shotgun to his face. Another man got out and made Prevatte empty his pockets and get in the back seat.”
Biggs said Graham held a shotgun on Prevatte and another man drove the car. The other two people drove away in a separate vehicle. Prevatte told police that they stopped the car on a dark street and put him in the trunk.
Prevatte was not able to give police a description of his abductors. Authorities haven't determined a motive or learned if Prevatte knew Graham or the other people.