Son’s tip aids felony arrest by father

Published 7:28 pm Tuesday, December 23, 2008

AULANDER – A family connection within the local law enforcement community was responsible for a felony arrest here Sunday.

Benjamin Doyle, 50, of 820B St. John-Millennium Road is behind bars in the Bertie-Martin Regional Jail on several charges, including possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. His bond was set at $45,000 cash.

The arrest was the result of a Murfreesboro Police officer communicating with a fellow lawman wearing an Aulander Police badge. In this case, the duo are father and son, respectively Jimmy Barmer of Aulander and William Barmer of Murfreesboro.

En route to work on Sunday, W. Barmer noticed an unoccupied van parked on a path off the St. John-Millennium Road. The van allegedly had a homemade license tag, common for vehicle owners to display while waiting for a replacement for a lost or stolen tag.

“William called me to ask if I was familiar with this van,” Jimmy Barmer said. “He gave me the plate number and I ran that information. It came back as a plate belonging to a totally different vehicle.”

At around 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, J. Barmer noticed the same van, with the same homemade license plate, pull onto Commerce Street from the parking lot of an Aulander business. The officer said the vehicle then turned onto Elm Street and into a private driveway at which time he activated his blue light.

“I knew the driver to be Mr. Doyle from a previous encounter with him,” J. Barmer said.

After learning that Doyle was operating the vehicle without a driver’s license and also knowing that the license plates were fictitious, Barmer placed Doyle under arrest. Subsequent to the arrest, Barmer frisked Doyle, at which time Doyle allegedly reached inside his coat pocket and pulled out a pistol that he tossed inside the van. A continued search of Doyle’s coat revealed an amount of marijuana.

Barmer then checked the weapon, finding it to be a loaded .25 caliber pistol. He then performed a criminal history check on Doyle, discovering he had a prior felony conviction in Wake County in September, 2001.

Other than the possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, Barmer charged Doyle with driving without a license, displaying a fictitious license plate, carrying a concealed weapon and possession of marijuana.

“William deserves all the credit for this arrest,” said a proud father. “He drives that road every day to work and because of his police training, he saw something out of the ordinary. He brought my attention to that van.”

Jimmy Barmer added that he had contacted ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) agents in order to see if this case can be taken to the federal judicial level.