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Police Seek Tips In Robbery

By David Howell


WATER VALLEY  – City police continue to search for leads in a home invasion and armed robbery that occurred on North Main on Feb. 22. Chief Mike King reported four masked men forced entry into 1201 North Main Street and robbed the homeowner and a renter at gunpoint. 

King also reported that the homeowner, an elderly man, was struck on both sides of the head by one of the home invaders, who used his fist.  The four men took cash from the victim and ransacked the house before fleeing. The homeowner went to the police department to report the crime. He was then treated by EMTs and transported to Baptist Memorial Hospital for further medical treatment. 

“We have gathered evidence in this case that will be sent to the crime lab,” King told the Herald Monday. The victim described the suspects as four black males, all in their early 20s and around 5’9” tall. One had on a blue sweater and blue jeans, one had on a checkered shirt and blue jeans.  The other two suspects were wearing blue jeans and ball caps.

King urged anybody in the public who may have information on the case to contact his department at (662) 473-2933. Information can also be submitted anonymously to Yalobusha County Crime-stoppers at 1-866-933-TIPS or 473-4935 or send an email to: TIPS@Yalobusha Crimestoppers will pay up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect or suspects.

King also reported a burglary at the same residence on Feb. 6 is also under investigation. The incident occurred while the victim was at church and a person of interest has been identified in this case.

In other city law enforcement news:

• Officers arrested Morris Banton after responding to 1154 Stephens Street for a report of a man in the front yard yelling and screaming. Officer Weaver Cain was the first officer on the scene and discovered Banton yelling and screaming, telling officers that family members were trapped under the house. In Cain’s case report, he explained that Banton became irate when he started to approach the house.

“He kept running around the yard yelling that we needed to leave because we weren’t real cops,” Cain explained in the narrative about the case. While waiting for a backup officers to arrive, a black pit bull dog attacked, attempting to bit Cain on the leg. A second officer, Derrick Yancy, arrived was able to spray the dog, which fled inside the house. Officer Tony Hernandez also arrived on the scene. Cain said they were unable to subdue Banton until a family member arrived and help calm him. 

Banton was then taken into custody after officers learned he was wanted for contempt of court in Hernando.

However Cain’s narrative explained the excitement didn’t end after he was placed in the back of the police car.

“While en route to the jail, he started yelling that he was not going to jail and started kicking the back window,” Cain wrote. He stopped and grabbed Banton to keep him from breaking the window. Cain was assisted by Hernandez, Yancy and an off-duty Oakland police officer and Barton was placed in leg straps for the remainder of his ride to the jail.

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