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Johnathan Whitney Ridgeway

Sheriff: Homeless man, 12-year-old boy broke into church

Posted at 2:18 PM on Feb 28, 2019



Iredell County Sheriff's Office deputies apprehended a homeless man and a 12-year-old boy after responding to a report of a burglary at a church near Statesville last weekend. 

Sheriff Darren Campbell announced the arrest of Jonathan Whitney Ridgeway, 19, on multiple charges on Thursday morning. The boy will be referred to Juvenile Services, Campbell said.

Deputies were dispatched to Bright Light Baptist Church off Trinity Road north of Statesville on Saturday after receiving a report that a breaking and entering had just occurred, according to the news release.

When deputies arrived at the church, they met with the caller, who told them when he unlocked and entered the church he heard running in a hallway near the pastor’s office, Campbell said.

The witness reported seeing two males running away from the church through the cemetery and provided the suspects' physical and clothing description. Deputies cleared the church, set up a perimeter and began patroling the area in an effort to locate the suspects.

Moments later two subjects matching the suspects’ description were located on Midway Road, a short distance from the church, Campbell said.

While deputies were speaking with the two suspects, Ridgeway attempted to flee and was detained. Items from the church were located on the suspects, Campbell said.

The two suspects were then taken back to the church, where the witness verified that they were the people seen running away, the sheriff added.

Ridgeway was taken to the Iredell County Detention Center, where he was charged with felony breaking and entering a place of worship, felony larceny after breaking and entering, misdemeanor resisting a public officer and misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Magistrate Imes issued Ridgeway a $40,000 bond.

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