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Alleged sex offender arrested

AHOSKIE – A local man is behind bars, held under a $500,000 secured bond, following his arrest here last week on several sex crimes involving a teenage male.

Ahoskie Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh reported the arrest of 42-year-old Tony Deon Shearin Jr. He was charged with four felonies – first degree kidnapping, second degree forcible sex offense, crimes against nature, and assault by strangulation. Additionally, Shearin was charged with interfering with emergency communications, a misdemeanor. Fitzhugh stated that charge was added once the victim was interviewed and said the suspect allegedly tried to prevent him from calling 9-1-1.

“A 9-1-1 call was made to Hertford County Central Communications at around 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 20 at which time we received information about an individual requesting help at a residence in the 500 block of North West Street,” Fitzhugh said.

APD Captain Michele Garrett and APD Sgt. Jeffrey Woodard arrived at that location moments later. Fitzhugh said one officer went to the front door of the residence while the other went to the backyard.

“At some point, the officers could hear voices inside the residence but when Capt. Garrett knocked on the front door, all got quiet inside the residence,” Fitzhugh said. “When Sgt. Woodard went back around the house to check on Capt. Garrett, two individuals exited the residence out the back and ran into a wooded area. They were found by my officers in the woods a short time later.”

After speaking with the two individuals, Fitzhugh said his officers were able to determine that a male juvenile was the victim…the one who made the 9-1-1 call.

“At that point my officers placed Mr. Shearin under arrest,” Fitzhugh said.

“I commend my officers for their quick and professional response to a call for a person in distress,” Fitzhugh added. “This turned out to be a very unfortunate situation for the young victim. We are still investigating this case and other charges may be forthcoming.”

Shearin made his first court appearance on Friday.

According to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, Shearin has previous arrests for disorderly conduct, communicating threats and assault on a law enforcement officer, all in Northampton County, where he was convicted on April 15, 1993 and served a one-month prison sentence plus probation; served a three-year/five-month term behind bars from 1994-97 for possession with intent to sell illegal drugs; and served another five-month term plus probation for two counts of communicating threats and one count of assault on a law enforcement officer on June 7, 1999.