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Vandal rocks#8217; Ahoskie By Cal Bryant 03/17/2008 AHOSKIE – An estimated #036;5,000 in damages was incurred by several downtown Ahoskie businesses early Saturday morning. The Ahoskie Police Departme

AHOSKIE – An estimated $5,000 in damages was incurred by several downtown Ahoskie businesses early Saturday morning.

The Ahoskie Police Department is investigating a rash vandalism cases where rocks were thrown through the storefronts of 10 businesses as well as the glass of one vehicle.

Ahoskie Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh said the businesses were located along a stretch of Main Street between Mitchell Street to Carolina Street as well as from Mitchell Street to Maple Street.

He added that it appeared the rocks were taken from the railroad bed.

“They are fairly large in size,” Fitzhugh said, “large enough to cause major damage.

“We will investigate this very thoroughly until we find the person or persons responsible,” he continued. “We need to arrest those responsible before any more damage is sustained.”

Those with any information concerning the 11 vandalism cases are urged to contact the Ahoskie Police Department at 332-5012. APD Captain Michele Garrett is heading-up the investigation.

As a result of the rock-throwing incidents, Fitzhugh called upon his officers to beef-up patrols in the downtown area on Saturday night. That led to two arrests on drug charges.

In that case, Fitzhugh said his officers observed a person, after apparently urinating in a public place, entering a vehicle parked along Main Street. Upon approaching that vehicle, the officers detected the strong smell of marijuana.

A search was performed of the vehicle as well as two occupants in the car. Marijuana, cocaine and a loaded 9-milimeter handgun, with the serial number filed off, were discovered.

Arrested were Derek Lamont Williams, 28, of 2520 Republican Road, Aulander, and 29-year-old Demetrice Antonio Gatling of 1813 Charles Taylor Road, Aulander.

Williams, who was released after posting a $14,500 bond, was charged with two felonies n possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana and possession of cocaine. Fitzhugh said the concealed weapon charge against Williams was now considered as a misdemeanor, but is looking into that issue since the serial number on the handgun was altered.

Gatling, jailed under a $3,500 bond, was charged with two misdemeanors n simple possession of marijuana and resist, delay and obstruct.

Both men are scheduled to make their first court appearance today (Tuesday).