TEXT-911 leads to arrest

Published 10:31 am Monday, May 27, 2024

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LEWISTON WOODVILLE – The use of TEXT-911 technology allowed Bertie County Sheriff’s deputies to save a female victim who was held at knifepoint here Sunday.

Tomya Lee Shields, age 45 of Lewiston Woodville, was arrested and charged with felony second degree kidnapping, false imprisonment, communicating threats, and assault on a female.

Sheriff Tyrone Ruffin said Bertie County 911 was first notified of the situation when they received a third party call in reference to a female that had been forced from her residence by a male subject with a knife in the Pine Street area of Lewiston.

While deputies were responding to the area, Bertie County 911 began to receive text messages from the female victim, confirming that the accused was in fact holding her against her will.

“Through the bravery of the victim in her quick thinking to use the recent TEXT-911 technology, she was able to provide our deputies with vital information needed to quickly and safely get to her,” Ruffin said in a press release.

Ruffin added that upon the deputies arriving on the scene, they quickly confirmed the suspect had himself and the victim locked in a bedroom of the residence, with the victim held at knifepoint.

Deputies breached the door to the residence and quickly apprehended Shields.

“The victim was thankfully unharmed, certainly in part to her quick thinking to adequately use the TEXT-911 option,” Ruffin said.