Another “ALERT” Operation Nets 27 Alcohol/Drug Arrests

Chapel Hill Police continued to push its message of zero tolerance over the weekend, handing out 27 citations for drug- and alcohol-related incidents.

Chapel Hill-Carrboro’s joint ALERT (Alcohol Law Enforcement Response Team) program uses officers from Chapel Hill along with Carrboro Police, and UNC’s Department of Public Safety.

Twenty-five citations were given between Saturday and Sunday for charges of open containers in public, underage possession, underage consumption, and public urination. The arrests were made throughout the greater Downtown Chapel Hill area from Longview Street on the north side to McCauley Street on the south side.

Friday: Eleven UNC Students Cited For Alcohol Violations

In the same time frame, two people were cited with misdemeanor drug possession charges as well.

Last week, Chapel Hill Police Public Information Lieutenant Josh Mecimore said the ALERT team is out early in the semester to make sure the expectations are clear. He said it’s about keeping students and other community members as safe as possible.

And remember, the Chapel Hill Police Department doesn’t announce when operations like ALERT or DUI traffic stops will take place, but it is often active on Twitter letting people know where regular speed traps will take place. You can follow it: @ChapelHillPD, and be sure to follow @WCHLChapelboro. We’ll share CHPD’s tweets with you as well.

Chapel Hill Police Remind Residents To Lock Up

A flick of the wrist might keep you from falling victim to one of Chapel Hill’s most common crimes.

Lieutenant Josh Mecimore says many larcenies and burglaries happen because citizens leave doors unlocked, making it easy for thieves to steal.

“We had a number of break-ins that involved either unlocked vehicles or people going into garages and taking items where the garage was left open overnight,” says Mecimore.

Chapel Hill police say thieves will often walk through yards, driveways and parking lots trying door handles until they find an unlocked car or garage. Mecimore reminds residents to lock up everything, including cars, houses, windows and garages.

“What we encourage people to do is make your house, your vehicle, your property a harder target than someone else’s, so that you’re not the person that a criminal chooses to victimize.”

According to the North Carolina Department of Justice, there were 3,500 property crimes reported in Orange County in 2012, the last year for which statistics were available.

If you’re interested in more safety tips from Chapel Hill Police, you can contact the Community Services Unit at (919) 932-2929.

Eleven UNC Students Cited For Alcohol Violations

The Alcohol Law Enforcement Response Team – or, “ALERT,” for short — issued 11 citations to UNC students for alcohol violations early Friday morning.

Charges include underage possession, open container, and consumption of an alcoholic beverage by a person less than 21 years of age.

Lt. Josh Mecimore, a public information officer for the Chapel Hill Police Department, said the citations were issued as part of a regular joint effort between the CHPD, UNC Police and Carrboro Police.

“Throughout the year, that team goes out, typically on dates that we know we have higher incidents of underage drinking.”

He said those include the first week of school; big sporting events; and graduation weekends for both high school and college.

Mecimore said the citations are meant to send a clear message to students, with a serious underlying reason.

“We don’t tolerate underage drinking,” said Mecimore. “And I’ve said in the past that that’s partly because it’s against the law. But an even bigger part is that we historically see all these issues that arise from over-consumption of alcohol, or irresponsible use of alcohol.

“And that’s things ranging from being more likely to be victimized by other people.”

Mecimore added that overconsumption of alcohol can lead to losing one’s ability to pay attention to other people and surroundings. Such inattention can result in crimes such as robbery and sexual assault.

Underage drinking also contributes to an increased number of patients in emergency rooms for alcohol poisoning, and alcohol-related injuries, said Mecimore.

His advice for students of legal drinking age is to stay indoors or on private property while consuming alcohol.

And if you’re underage, just don’t drink.

“We take enforcement actions in those situations,” said Mecimore. “And all of these people will have a court date, where they’ll have to appear in court. It could have some implications in Honor Court as well for folks who are students of UNC, which could affect their academic status.”

Mecimore said he doesn’t know which consequence would be worse for a UNC student, but either way, it’s always better to be responsible.

Dispute Lands One In Hospital

A dispute at a northern Chapel Hill trailer park led Chapel Hill Police to a Carrboro Apartment early Wednesday morning in pursuit of a suspect.

“The officers that responded there found a subject laying on the ground near one of the trailers who was bleeding from the head,” says Chapel Hill Police Public Information Sergeant Bryan Walker. “EMS transported this person to UNC Hospitals where he was admitted to the hospital.”

Christopher Jesus Delgadillo, 19, was admitted to the hospital. As of Wednesday afternoon, he was listed in fair condition according to UNC Health Care spokesperson Tom Hughes.

Oziel Zermeno

Oziel Zermeno

Oziel Zermeno, 23, was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon. The incident took place at Lakeview Mobile Home Park across from Timberlyne Shopping Center on Weaver Dairy Road.

“It shows that he was released under $500 unsecured bond—brought before the magistrate and released under that bond,” Sgt. Walker says.

He says no additional motives, such as an attempted robbery, were reported in connection with the assault.

Anarchists Smash Car Windows At Chapel Hill Police Department

A group of self-proclaimed anarchists vandalized police cars Thursday night at the Chapel Hill Police Department Headquarters on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Shortly after 3 a.m. someone broke the windows of three police cruisers and spray painted the words “For Luke” on one. In an anonymous blog post taking credit for the actions, the vandals say it was a gesture of solidarity with Luke O’Donovan, of Atlanta, Georgia.

O’Donovan survived an attack by a group of men shouting homophobic slurs in December, 2012. He fought them off using a pocket knife, but faced charges of aggravated assault and attempted murder stemming from the attack. O’Donovan recently accepted a plea deal and was sentenced to two years in prison.

The anarchists also cite the protests in Ferguson, Missouri as inspiration for Thursday’s vandalism.

Initial estimates put the total damage at approximately $2,200. Police are reviewing security camera footage of the incident.

Man Does Not Survive Jump From I-40 Overpass

photo 3

Update 3:30 p.m.: The Orange County Sheriff Department confirmed that at 12:15 p.m. a male subject was seen sitting on the side wall of the NC-86 overpass of I-40. A passing driver called 911. A passerby attempted to approach the man, but before that person could reach him, the man jumped.

He fell in the emergency lane of I-40 westbound, according to a press release from the Sheriff’s department, and did not survive the fall. Emergency services attempted to revive the individual, but were unsuccessful.

The Sheriff’s department reported no vehicles on I-40 struck the decedent. The man’s name has not been released, pending family notification.

Update 2:35 p.m.: NC Highway Patrol Public Information Officer Jeff Gordon told WCHL that state troopers only assisted in shutting down portions of the road and were not involved in the investigation. The Orange County Sheriff Department is investigating, according to Lieutenant Gordon. He said officials were responding to a “subject on the bridge.”

No one was available to speak in the Orange County Sheriff Office as of 2:45 p.m. Thursday, according to a receptionist.

Story originally posted August 14, 2014 at 1:53 p.m.

Police are investigating an incident that occurred around noon Thursday on I-40 at NC-86, exit 266.

Chapel Hill Police, North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Orange County Sheriff, Orange County Emergency Services, and the New Hope Fire Department responded to the overpass of NC-86 and I-40 and shut down the right lane and shoulder of the interstate. The right lane of NC-86 was also shut down on the overpass. Traffic quickly backed up on I-40 WB to NC-54, exit 273.

photo 4A Chapel Hill Police officer standing on the overpass at the scene said the area was closed due to an active investigation, but could not give any additional details about the incident.

MLK Reopened — Downed Power Lines Close MLK

Story originally posted 6:08 a.m., August 8, 2014

The North Carolina Department of Transportation reported Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd between Critz Drive and Piney Mountain Road reopened at 9:45 a.m. Friday.

Chapel Hill Police responded to Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd at around 10:00 p.m. Thursday when a tree fell taking down power lines across one of Chapel Hill’s major thoroughfares.

Officers promptly closed all lanes in both directions to vehicular traffic between Critz Drive and Piney Mountain Road. As of 5:45 a.m. Friday, the CHPD Watch Commander told WCHL utility crews estimate the reopening of the roadway to be between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m.

Power was knocked out in the immediate area at the time the lines fell, according to Chapel Hill Police. As of 6:00 a.m. Friday, Duke Energy was not reporting any outages in the area.

CHPD Arrests Four For DWI Wednesday Morning

Chapel Hill Police made your roads safer early Wednesday morning making four arrests for DWIs within a three-and-a-half mile stretch of Franklin Street.

“The first one occurred at just 23 minutes after midnight going all the way up to 4:30 (Wednesday) morning,” says Public Information Sergeant Bryan Walker. “Various locations around town: Europa Drive to West Franklin Street to East Franklin Street. They were all just the result of officers on routine patrol.”

The four drivers were 19-year-old Connor Craig Bruce, 21-year-old Yasmine Jordan Carlson, 26-year-old Jason Robert Lomboy, and 32-year-old Adam Wade Phillips.

Sgt. Walker says all but one incident were the result of erratic driving that caught the attention of the office. The other arrest was made after a routine traffic stop, and the officer noticed alcohol on the driver’s breath. All four arrests were made by different officers.

Four arrests for DWI in about a four-hour span is an abnormality in Chapel Hill. While the officers were not performing a DWI checkpoint, Sgt. Walker says CHPD will set them up on a regular basis, especially around high drinking-and-driving times like after a sporting event or major holiday.

“Typically we won’t give out information on DWI checkpoints and that kind of thing, certainly (not in advance),” Sgt. Walker says.

However, Chapel Hill Police has been busy on social media in recent days with notifications of where radar checkpoints are going to be on a given day. Last Wednesday, Chapel Hill Police tweeted it would be setting one up on Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd the next day between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon.

“We try to get information out there to folks, because it’s helping us meet our goal,” Sgt. Walker says. “If someone sees that and says, ‘well, I need to remember to slow down when I’m driving through there,’ then we’ve accomplished that goal.”

“Yes, occasionally we poke fun at folks that should have been following us on Twitter,” Sgt. Walker says. “And, maybe if they had been they wouldn’t have gotten at ticket.”

Follow Chapel Hill Police on Twitter, @ChapelHillPD. You can follow WCHL on Twitter, @WCHL, and we’ll be sharing any traffic checkpoints we see with you as well.

Accidental Alarm Registration; “Better Back Care”; August Pet Adoption

If you’re in Chapel Hill and you haven’t registered your alarm yet, now is the time to do it.

Chapel Hill’s Accidental Alarm Program went into effect on July 1 – and since then, more than 1600 residents and more than 650 businesses have registered their alarms, as required.

The program is designed to cut down on the costs associated with emergency workers having to respond to false alarms. The town will issue a fine for any unregistered alarm system or any alarm that accidentally activates more than three times in a 12-month period.

There’s no cost to register your alarm. You can do it online by visiting

UNC’s School of Medicine has won a $6 million award from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid’s Innovation Center for a program called “Better Back Care.”

The program is still in development, but the purpose is to create a “medical neighborhood” connecting 60 primary care providers with UNC’s spine program to improve care for people with back pain. It will be directed by Dr. Brian Casazza and Dr. Amy Shaheen.

UNC is one of only 39 awardees nationally – and this is the only spine-care program to be selected as an award recipient.

If you’re thinking about adopting a pet, August might be the perfect time.

As part of a “Back to School” promotion, Orange County Animal Services is reducing adoption fees by nearly 50% for cats and dogs. Cat adoptions will be $50 and dog adoptions will be $60 – and as always, all the animals are fully vaccinated, vet checked, and spayed or neutered.

The Animal Services office is on Eubanks Road in northern Chapel Hill. To see photos of the animals, visit

CHPD Seeks Neighborhood Hosts For National Night Out Safety Events

Next Tuesday marks the 31st annual National Night Out, and Chapel Hill police are inviting residents to join in the effort to fight crime.

Officer Robin Clark is with the Chapel Hill Police Community Services Division. She says last year’s celebration took many forms.

“In the past we have had pool parties, block parties in neighborhoods, ice cream socials and cook outs,” says Clark. “It’s been a pretty fun and exciting time for us.”

This year, more than 16,000 communities across the nation are expected to take part by locking doors, turning on exterior lights, and spending time outside with neighbors and local police between 6 and 8 o’clock in the evening.

The event is intended to help build trust among neighbors and highlight community policing efforts. Clark says the slaying of UNC professor Feng Liu last week has drawn renewed attention to the issue of neighborhood safety.

“I think any time you have a tragic event such as that in the community that it does heighten people’s awareness,” says Clark. “Unfortunately, sometimes it takes tragic events like that to make people realize, ‘Hey, maybe we should be paying a little more attention.’”

If you’d like to organize an event for your neighborhood or apartment complex, contact Officer Robin Clark at 919-969-2068 or