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Friday, June 18, 2010

 

Census worker held against his will

Police: Census worker abused

Suspect ‘tired of’ visitors stopping by

CHRIS GRAHAM

A Chapel Hill man was arrested after allegedly holding a U.S. Census worker against his will 

 

 

 

James T. Brewer, 61, 3026 Highway 270, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and false imprisonment.

Travis Ryder, 20, told deputies Brewer became aggressive toward him when he went to Brewer’s home June 9 to collect Census information. The victim alleged Brewer was aggressive toward him and took the identification badge from his neck, tore up his census documents and took the keys from his truck, according to an incident report.

The report states Brewer then took Ryder to an outbuilding on his property, melted a Coca-Cola can with a blow torch and asked the census worker if he knew what physical injury the blow torch would do to his hand.

Ryder told authorities throughout the ordeal Brewer acted as if he had a weapon in his pocket and told him that no more census workers should come to his home or “they might not leave.”

Brewer later told authorities he was only trying to scare the worker, saying four others had already been to his home and “he was tired of it.”

He was released from Marshall County Jail after posting $8,500 bond.

Census workers have increasingly been the target of violence.

Since late April, there have been 252 incidents nationwide in which Census workers were threatened or harmed — 86 of which involved weapons such as guns, axes and crossbows — according to The Washington Post.

Ron Lindsey, branch manager for the Columbia census office, said a few of his 800 workers have come across minor incidents since starting their canvas of the area in April.

None of the incidents have been as serious as Friday’s alleged event, Lindsey said.

“Most of it is people not wanting to deal with the public,” he said.

Lindsey said residents do not need to be concerned about workers giving out their private information.

 

He said Ryder was ready to go back to work the next day.

“He’s a trooper,” Lindsey said.

 

Jun 16, 2010 - 16:31:43 EDT.

LINK TO PHOTO

 

http://columbiadailyherald.com/articles/2010/06/16/top_stories/02census.txt


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