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Friday, September 8, 2006

Duke Case: Statement of Sgt. J.C. Shelton

Statement of Sgt. J.C. Shelton dated April 9, 2006


I was a few blocks away from 610 N. Buchanan when a disturbance call came out. I responded and was on scene first. I parked my patrol vehicle on the side street just north of the 600 block and walked to the house. The narrative of the call stated that several males were yelling racial slurs at passer-by. When I approached the house, no one was outside or was visible leaving the house. Once other officers arrived, I knocked on the door of 610. There was no response. There was no covering over the front window and I could see into the house with no effort. I could see no people inside. There were beer cans and bottles, a beer keg, and several empty plastic cups strewn about, leading me to believe that there had been a party. There were also two or three full trash bags on the front porch. I walked down the alley next to the house and did not see anyone appearing to have left the house. A young man was on the front porch of the house immediately to the south of 610. He stated that a party had just broken up and that it was rowdy, causing him to contemplate calling 911. I believe his name was Jason. After speaking with him and feeling confident that no one was at 610 N. Buchanan we cleared the call.

A few minutes after clearing the call on N. Buchanan, a call came out at the Kroger on Hillsborough Road of a women refusing to get out of the complainant's car. Again, I was close to that location and was first on scene. I was met by the security guard at a black or dark-colored Honda. A female walked across the parking lot to my location and said that it was her car. She told me that she had made the call at 610 N. Buchanan. She stated that she was driving up the street and that the female she had in the car was walking up the sidewalk along the Duke Wall in the 600 block of N. Buchanan. She said that a group of white males was at 610 and they were yelling racial slurs across the street at the female. She said that she did not know if the female was drunk or high, but that in any case, she did not appear that she could take care of herself and she was afraid of what the white males might do to the women. She said that she offered the women a ride to a safe location; but that the women would not get out of her car. She further stated that she did not know the women. I cautioned her about picking up strangers.

I walked over to the female, who was in the passenger seat of the vehicle. She was wearing a see-through red outfit, with no under garments and one white high-heel shoe. She was unconscious. I grabbed her lightly and jostled her, speaking to her loudly, in an effort to wake her. She remained unresponsive. By this time, Officer Barfield had arrived. I got an ammonia capsule from my patrol car. When I used it, the female began mouth-breathing, which is a sign that she was not really unconscious. My experience is that unconscious people wake up rather quickly when exposed to ammonia capsules. I grabbed the female and attempted to pull her from the vehicle. She grabbed the emergency brake with her left hand and would not come out of the car. At this point, I applied a bent-wrist come-along [maneuver] to her right hand and arm. As I applied pressure she became responsive and eventually I was able to get her out of the car. Once she was out of the car, I released the pressure and she collapsed to the ground. Officer Barfield helped me get the women into his patrol car. the complainant sad that she did not want the women to get in trouble. Officer Barfield and I discussed what to do with the woman. Since she would not speak with us, we did not know her name or where she lived. Taking her home was not an option. She would not walk on her own, so 24 hour hold was not an option. I determined that the Durham Access Center would be an appropriate option because she met the criteria for involuntary commitment. I directed Officer Barfield to transport her there. Officer Stewart followed Officer Barfield to Durham Access to assist him if needed.

I cleared from the call. After Officer Barfield had been at Durham Access for a while, he called me and stated the female said she had been raped at 610 N. Buchanan. I told him to take her to Duke Hospital and that I would meet them there. Once at Duke, I spoke to the female, who was now cooperative. She told me that she worked as a stripper and that she had been hired through "Angels Escort Service" to dance with another female at 610 N. Buchanan. She said that she and "Nikki" danced and "put on a show" for the men at the party. She said that they left and got into "Nikki's" car. At that time she said that someone from the party wanted them to come back into the house. She said that "Nikki" wanted to go back inside, but that she did not. She said that she and "Nikki" got into an argument about going back inside. She said at that point some of the guys form the party pulled her from the vehicle and groped her. She told me that no one forced her to have sex. She then mentioned that someone had taken her money. I walked to the parking lot to call the Watch Commander and let him know that she had recanted her rape allegation. Within a few minutes, I was told that she told the SANE doctor that she had been raped. I called the Watch Commander back and told him that she had changed her story back to being raped. I returned to the room where she was and asked her if she had or had not been raped. She told me she did not want to talk to me anymore and then started crying and saying something about them dragging her into the bathroom. I spoke with a Duke Police Lieutenant who had one of their officers go by the house to see if they could determine who lived at the house and confirm that the resident(s) was a student at Duke. The Watch Commander told me that C.I.D. had been notified. I left the hospital at that time. Duke Police still had not advised me if the resident of the house was a student.

supplemental report by Sgt. J.C. Shelton[3 pages, PDF] [ABC11-TV/WTVD]

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