MEN ASSAULTED WILMINGTON: Several men, including military personnel, say they were assaulted in downtown Wilmington
WILMINGTON, N.C. – Eleven men, some of whom are members of the military, said they have been assaulted near downtown Wilmington bars over the course of two years, officials said, CNN reported.
Authorities said they believe the assaults started back in January 2018 and typically occurred around the time when the bars closed for the night. The men were mostly in their 20s and 30s and most of them didn’t immediately report the alleged incidents, officials said.
According to Wilmington police, some victims were robbed, four victims said they were sexually assaulted and seven victims were military personnel.
Investigators said the have been working to piece together the incidents and said they believe the assaults are connected. It has been difficult to solve the cases because several victims can’t remember any details from the incidents, officials said.
“They have no memory of where it occurred. … It could’ve been in a car, it could’ve been in an apartment, we don’t know,” Wilmington Police Chief Ralph M. Evangelous said. “So, that’s been a struggle for us.”
Wilmington police said they have determined common factors between each investigation, where victims had been drinking at bars when they left alone and woke up alone.
Investigators said they are continuing their investigation and encourage those who go out to bars to not leave their drinks unattended and to travel in groups.
“We just ask for patience,” Evangelous said. “I know people are frustrated, we’re frustrated, but we’re putting a lot of time and a lot of effort, and a lot of partners are working with us trying to get this thing pulled together.”
Authorities said they have increased police presence in the Wilmington downtown area and also reached out to the military for additional help, including the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and various task forces.
© 2019 Cox Media Group.