Elderly military police veteran attacks armed home invader
The suspect had a hostage in tow and is suspected of stealing from several police agencied
By Mary Anderson
SEAGROVE, N.C. — An armed man who came to Neil Meisch's residence near Seagrove and demanded his car keys got a severe beating instead from the 84-year-old former military policeman.
Meisch was so calm about it, his blood pressure never went up, his wife, 83-year-old Bonnie Meisch, said Friday afternoon.
Meisch was injured in the fight when the assailant struck him on the arm with a shotgun, jumped into the vehicle he had left running in the Meisch's driveway on Little River Road and "tore out of here," Bonnie Meisch added.
The suspect, identified as Tony Curtis Davis, 49, of 1005 N.C. 73, Jackson Springs, wrecked his car on winding Okeewemee Road in Montgomery County about 9:38 p.m. Thursday, where he was apprehended.
As the pieces of his rampage come together, Davis faces multiple charges, including kidnapping, from at least five law enforcement agencies.
The ordeal began for the Meischs about 8 p.m. on Thursday when there was a knock on the door. Bonnie opened it slightly to see who was there.
"There was a man with the storm door open and a gun in my face," Bonnie said. "He ordered me to give him my car keys and I told him, 'Hell, no,' he wasn't getting anything and yelled for Neil."
Bonnie said Neil, a retired long-distance truck driver and former U.S. Air Force MP, came running into the room and never hesitated.
"He grabbed the man and took him for a ride off the porch," she said. "All I could see then was fists."
Davis managed to get halfway up and struck Neil on the forearm with the shotgun. Then Davis, who was accompanied by another man who later turned out to be his hostage, jumped into the car they had come in and left at a high rate of speed.
Neil Meisch was taken to Randolph Hospital, where he needed 18 stitches to close the wound on his arm that was so deep bone could be seen. Meischon told his family members he was usually a calm, easygoing man until someone messed with his wife.
Randolph Sheriff's Det. Ed Blair said the incident started sometime earlier on Thursday, but authorities do not have a motive or a reason for Davis' actions.
Blair said Davis is accused of kidnapping Marvin Williams, his former father-in-law, and Jason Tucker, his former son-in-law, and threatening to kill both of them.
Bonnie Meisch said she could tell the man with Davis either had something wrong with him or he was very scared. He was frantically waving his arms and saying he had nothing to do with this, but he didn't try to help Neil, she said. Authorities laer identified him as Marvin Williams.
Montgomery Sheriff's Det. Kelly Howell said that earlier in the day, Davis had gone to Marvin Williams' residence on U.S. 220 Alternate, Star, where he obtained a shotgun and forced Williams into his vehicle.
Howell said Davis then drove Williams to an address on Rabbit Creek Road near Candor where Davis picked up Jason Tucker against his will. From there, Davis drove the two to the vacant parking lot in the Candor shopping center where a struggle ensued between Davis and Tucker.
Davis struck Tucker in head with a shotgun before Tucker managed to flee on foot from the shopping center and call 911. Tucker reported to deputies that Davis had kidnapped Marvin Williams and was going to kill him.
Davis took Williams to Quik Chek in Seagrove to buy food. Williams stood behind Davis mouthing to the clerk to call 911. The clerk did, then followed them outside and told Williams he had left something and needed to come back in the store. Davis said no and they left.
Williams told officers that Davis knew his car was on the Quik Chek video and was intent on getting another car. Leaving Seagrove on Little River Road, he picked the Meisch residence at random.
"The Meisches were unfortunate victims, but Davis chose the wrong place," Blair said. "He walked right into a former military MP who wasn't going to take any bull from him and proceeded to give him an attitude adjustment on the spot."
Blair said law enforcement does not recommend taking drastic action when threatened, but advises victims to take care for their own safety and call 911 as quickly as possible.
While Davis and Williams were at her house, Bonnie made a point of getting as many details as she could to describe the two men, "as much as I could see of Davis with Neil on top of him," and the car.
"I don't know why we weren't scared, but we weren't," Bonnie said. "Our children and grandchildren came rushing over and they were more afraid than we were."
Bonnie said she had never seen so many police officers at one place in her life, but they were all very nice and helpful and apologetic that they were at the residence so late.
After Davis left the Meisch house, he wrecked on Okeewemee Road. The N.C. Highway Patrol trooper, who responded to the wreck, and all law enforcement had been alerted to be on the lookout for the vehicle, after the report from Candor Police and the QuikChek in Seagrove, and Bonnie Meisch's matching description.
Det. Blair said that's when it all started to come together -- the Candor kidnapping, the Seagrove report of the man seeking help and the Meisch experience. Randolph and Montgomery sheriff's offices, highway patrol, Troy Police and Candor Police were involved in putting the puzzle together.
Montgomery's Det. Howell said the Montgomery Sheriff's office received a report just before the wreck that Davis was leaving a residence on Post Office Road in Star. A few minutes later Montgomery EMS advised that they saw a vehicle matching the description wrecked on Okeewemee Road which runs between Star and Troy. They reported two men got out of the vehicle and one man was armed with a shotgun.
When law enforcement arrived on the scene a perimeter was established and Davis was located after a brief search, Howell said.
Marvin Williams was taken to FirstHealth Montgomery Hospital where he was treated for his injuries and released.
During a secondary search of the area on Okeewemee Road Friday morning, a Troy Police officer located a shotgun.
On Friday, Randolph County charged Davis with attempted breaking and entering, attempted larceny and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury.
In Montgomery County, Davis was initially charged with kidnapping, assault, damage to property and assault by pointing a gun. Howell said pending charges include possession of a firearm by a felon, larceny of a firearm, common law robbery, possession of stolen goods, communicating threats, armed robbery and larceny of a motor vehicle. Additional charges are pending.
Montgomery County Sheriff Dempsey Owens said after Davis was incarcerated, he broke a sprinkler head at the jail and flooded his cell. He will be charged with that, too, Owens said.
Davis total bond on Friday was $760,000 secured.
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