Belhaven police help track down suspected rapist

Published 4:45 am Friday, October 17, 2008

By Staff
Investigation leads to the accused
Staff Writer
The Belhaven Police Department made its first “significant” arrest on Wednesday under new Police Chief Frederick Clingenpeel.
Willie Grant Blount II, 33, wanted for allegedly engaging in sexual intercourse with a person under 11 years of age, was taken into custody by members of the department.
An investigation was conducted into the location of Blount after the department was contacted Oct. 9 by the New York Police Department’s Bronx Special Victims Squad in reference to locating a subject wanted for first-degree rape.
Clingenpeel said that the case labels Blount as a repeat offender.
The department did a background check on Blount, who is suspected to be a native of Belhaven, said Clingenpeel.
According to the chief, the department obtained Blount’s driver’s license, which listed a local address.
But the department determined the address unreliable after staking out the residence for several days, said Clingenpeel.
The Police Department suspects that Blount “only got mail there,” said the chief.
Undeterred, Sgt. Joe Smith and a telecommunicator with the department did further investigation into the whereabouts of Blount through the Division of Criminal Investigation.
The residence, located on Gum Street, was staked out by Smith, with the help of police officers Daniel Whitehurst, William Buck and Jerry Cobb with the department.
Blount was taken into custody from the residence without incident and is being held in the Beaufort County Detention Center without benefit of bond pending extradition to New York.
Clingenpeel said he was not familiar with Blount before the department was contacted by the Bronx Special Victims Squad, but that several members of the Police Department were.
Cligenpeel commended the hard work done by his department in locating and arresting Blount.
Belhaven Town Manager Guinn Leverett said he was “proud” of the department, especially since it is in the midst of recruiting police officers.
The town manager was impressed by the department’s investigative work.
Clingenpeel said the investigation and arrest of Blount just serves as another way to “let Belhaven residents know that we are working to try to make the town better.”