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Police Chief Investigates Sheriff

An SBI probe into actions by Buncombe county sheriff Van Duncan has cleared him of any wrongdoing after Asheville police chief William Anderson called agents to investigate an incident involving the sheriff's son.  The sheriff says a man coerced his 16-year old son to allow him into his vehicle and then wouldn't get out until he drove him to Hillcrest apartments in the city.  When he got out, the sheriff's son called home for help.  The sheriff then instructed his son to lock the doors and drive home immediately.

The sheriff and his son then drove back to the scene to locate the area that was unknown to his son so they could call police to investigate.  But the suspect then flagged down the sheriff in his unmarked car and he apprehended him.  He then called police to investigate and arrest him.

The next day, the sheriff learned Chief William Anderson had asked for an SBI probe of the sheriff's actions after the suspect suggested he was choked.  Police arrested 34-year old Larry Shelton for felonious restraint.  The SBI probe found nothing and was closed after a district attorney review.

Sheriff Duncan says he was "surprised" by decision to call the SBI but understood.  He says video cameras in Hillcrest apartments backed up his story.  He says the most alarming thing is that as a parent he felt he had failed to teach his teenage driver to "never let anybody you don't know into your vehicle, no matter what the story."

Chief Anderson did not respond to our requests for his comment on this story.

by Frank Fraboni

 



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