CHPD Offers Moped Drivers One Month To Register

Chapel Hill Police are giving moped users about a month to comply with a new state requirement that mopeds must be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles, and display a license plate.

“The state law doesn’t specify any length of time where people would be given warnings, or we do some sort of educational campaign,” says Lt. Josh Mecimore, spokesperson for the Chapel Hill Police Department. “Our plan is to take the first 30 days – we try to do that with any new law – to try to educate people on the new requirements.”

Under a law passed last year, the deadline for moped riders to register their low-gas-mileage mode of transportation – and stick a plate on it – expired July 1. The cost of registration is $18, plus fees.

But Mecimore said the Chapel Hill Police will not start cracking down yet.

“We’ll be giving some time,” said Mecimore. “That doesn’t mean you won’t get stopped if you’re driving one without a tag, because that may be our educational opportunity.”

While moped owners may not universally love the new law, Mecimore said there’s an upside for them, in terms of law enforcement.

“We have a fairly sizable number of mopeds that get stolen each year,” said Mecimore. “And I think our hope is that this new requirement is going to give us better information on mopeds’ serial numbers, and will, hopefully, help us, if things get stolen, to be able to recover them.”

Getting a tag requires a trip to the DMV with proof of ownership, and a vehicle identification number or serial number to provide.

Starting next July, moped users will also need to be insured – a much pricier requirement, especially for those with poor driving records.

Former CHPD Chief Passes Away

Former Chapel Hill Police Chief Ralph Pendergraph passed away on May 4, according to his family.

The 70-year-old Pendergraph had been battling pancreatic cancer.

Pendergraph joined the Navy in 1962 before joining the Chapel Hill Police force in 1973. He served as an officer for 28 years before being appointed Chief of Police in 1992. He served as Chief for eight years before retiring in 2000.

He is survived by his wife, two children, and four grandchildren.

Visitation will be on Wednesday evening from six to eight o’clock at the Hall-Wynne Funeral Home in Pittsboro. The funeral services are scheduled for Thursday morning at 11 o’clock at Cedar Grove United Methodist Church in Pittsboro, with burial to follow in the church cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to Cedar Grove United Methodist Church, 2791 Jones Ferry Road, Pittsboro, NC 27312.

Three-Day Journey By Formerly-Missing Senior Still Unknown

Little new information has come to light as to how a missing Carol Woods Retirement Community resident went missing for nearly three days.

Chapel Hill Police Public Information Lieutenant Josh Mecimore says the area that 90-year-old Richard Leslie Silva was found was part of the area initially searched by authorities.

“I think based on his medical state he didn’t have a whole lot of memory of much—especially not short-term,” Lt. Mecimore says. “He wasn’t able to provide any information related to where he’d been, how he got there, or anything like that.”

STORY: UPDATE: Missing Person Silva Located

He says a lady was walking her dog and the dog began acting strange, so she got a security guard who helped find Silva.

Lt. Mecimore says police, along with Carol Woods employees, first searched the property. When that search came up empty, officers searched the area surrounding the property, including the I-40 corridor all the way up to Chapel Hill North.

He says it’s difficult to determine if he was in the place he was found the entire time or if that’s where he ended up. He says it’s hard to believe he ever made it too far due to limited mobility.

“Somebody thought they had seen him on Saturday at about 1:00 p.m. on Weaver Dairy Extention,” Lt. Mecimore says. “They described in great detail some things that make us believe there might be some credibility to that because it was information that we didn’t release in our release. So, we’re trying to look into those and figure out where he might have gone if anywhere after he disappeared.”

According to UNC Healthcare spokesperson Tom Hughes, Silva was no longer in the hospital as of Wednesday afternoon.

Persons Of Interest Listed In Hedgepeth Murder Investigation Documents

Search warrants unsealed by the Durham County District Attorney’s office Friday morning reveal multiple people of interest in the murder investigation of Faith Hedgepeth nearly two years ago. Chapel Hill Police have yet to say if any have been ruled out as suspects.

The most notable connection with the victim is Eriq Takoy Jones, who lived in the same apartment complex as Hedgepeth, a few buildings away from where she was found murdered. Jones apparently had a previous relationship with Hedgepeth’s roommate, Karena Lynn Rosario.

According to a warrant, Jones told Rosario earlier that summer that he hated Hedgepeth and would kill her if Rosario didn’t get back together with him. Police were told that Jones resented Hedgepeth because he considered her a barrier to his relationship with Rosario.

Police say Rosario placed a restraining order against Jones two months before Hedgepeth was murdered, after he allegedly kicked two doors off their frame in Rosario’s apartment.

Jones gave investigators permission to search his cell phone. They found a text message Jones sent to a friend the day before the murder asking the friend to forgive him for what he was about to do. Jones also sent a tweet to someone else asking for forgiveness. Police said the cover photo on Jones’ Facebook page was changed to include, “Dear Lord. Forgive me for all of my sins and the sins I may commit today. Protect me from the girls who don’t deserve me and the ones who wish me dead today.”

Jacob Beatley of 103 West Longview Street in Chapel Hill was also questioned six months after the murder took place. A warrant shows that a cell tower search conducted early in the investigation connected an incident report to Beatley’s phone number.

Investigators said when they contacted Beatley they found that he lived with the person who Rosario was with during the time of the murder. Police said he also went to the nightclub The Thrill that night, but couldn’t recall when he left. The warrants say Beatley was asked to submit a DNA sample, but he did not do so voluntarily.

Another person of interest included Reginald Leonard Jackson, II who was living in Greensboro in November 2012 when investigators attempted to contact him.

A Chapel Hill Police officer said he attempted to get in touch with him by phone multiple times before traveling to his last known address in Greensboro. The CHPD officer said he caught up with Jackson with the assistance of local police. He said Jackson was in his car and pulling out of the parking lot of his apartment complex. The warrant says Jackson told the officers he “knew of (Hedgepeth)” but that he doesn’t talk to police like that.

In Thursday’s release, Police Chief Chris Blue said investigators collected hundreds of DNA samples, but did not name any suspects. Chapel Hill Police did report that at least one person refused to have a DNA sample submitted.

Investigators continue to ask that if you have any information regarding the case to call 919-614-6363. You can also call Crime Stoppers at 919-942-7515.

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.

Found: CHPD Seeking Missing Person, Ai Jinglong

Story originally posted April 12, 2014, 7:31 a.m.

The Chapel Hill Police Department reported just after 4:00 p.m. Saturday that Ai Jinglong was located safe and sound.

The Chapel Hill Police Department needs your help finding 85-year-old Ai Jinglong who was last seen Friday on Willow Drive.

Jinglong is a 5’6″, 155 pound Asian male; he has black hair and brown eyes.

If you have information concerning Jinglong’s whereabouts, please call the Chapel Hill Police Department at 919-612-8240 or 911 immediately.

CHPD Seeks CHPL Larceny Suspect

CHAPEL HILL – The Chapel Hill Police Department needs your help finding the suspect of a larceny from a person last week at the Chapel Hill Public Library.

The suspect took a person’s purse into the men’s bathroom, removed cash, and threw the purse away before fleeing the building.

Authorities are looking for a black male with short hair and a slim build. At the time he was wearing a dark hooded jacket, dark pants, and light running shoes.

chpl larceny

If you can assist Chapel Hill Police in finding this person, please call Investigator Bolden at 919-968-2870 or Crime Stoppers at 919-942-7515. Calls to Crime Stoppers are confidential and anonymous. Information leading to an arrest could receive a cash reward up to $2,000.

Franklin Street From Estes Dr to Elliott Rd Closed – Natural Gas Leak

CHAPEL HILL – Chapel Hill Police Sgt. Bryan Walker confirmed Wednesday at 10:35 a.m. that Franklin Street was closed in both directions between Estes Dr and Elliott Rd for a natural gas leak.

Sgt. Walker said he was unaware of any evacuations in the area. EMS and gas crews were on the scene managing the incident.

CHPD Seeks Additional Help From SBI In Hedgepeth Investigation

CHAPEL HILL – The Chapel Hill Police Department has asked the State Bureau of Investigation for additional help in the murder of UNC student Faith Hedgepeth.

The Chapel Hill News reports that SBI spokeswoman Jennifer Canada confirmed in an email that Police Chief Chris Blue requested the help from the SBI in the off-campus murder. The SBI served a limited role in the early parts of the investigation, including the discovery of a male suspect’s DNA and a profile of that person.

Hedgepeth was found dead in her apartment on September 7 of last year at the Hawthorne on the View complex on Old Chapel Hill Road.

The investigative documents and 911 calls have been sealed by court order since the murder. On September 30, Durham County Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson signed a 60-day order to reseal the documents for the fifth time.

Gunshots Fired Saturday; CHPD Seeking Info

CHAPEL HILL – Chapel Hill Police are seeking information in a shooting incident that took place on Walnut Street last Saturday evening.

Sometime between 5:00 and 7:26 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, an individual fired a single bullet into a residence on Walnut Street. Nobody was in the residence at the time, though, and there were no injuries.

If you have any information about the incident, please contact the Chapel Hill PD at 919-968-2760, or Crime Stoppers at 919-942-7515. Calls to Crime Stoppers are confidential and anonymous, and callers may receive a reward up to $2,000 for information leading to an arrest.

You can also leave tips for Crime Stoppers at