ROSEBORO — Nearly a month after it happened, Oscar Williams and his wife are still haunted by the night they were awakened by a man fleeing from the scene of a home invasion banging on doors and busting out windows.
“The people in our neighborhood are still scared,” Williams said as he addressed the Roseboro commissioners earlier this week.
On the night of Jan. 22, Williams said he was awakened to the sound of someone banging on his door and busting out the class to a window. The Roseboro resident says he had his wife call 911, and armed with his own weapon, fired a shot out his window. When he opened the door, Williams saw a man, later identified as Rolando A. Torres, a felon who, carrying an AR-15 rifle, had escaped his own trauma moments earlier from a home about a mile away on Lucas Road.
“This situation could have been so much worse than it was,” Williams explained. “Luckily, I didn’t hit him with the shots.”
According to reports from the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office, Torres was at a friend’s home on Lucas Road the night of the incident when suspects invaded the home and held Torres and two others at gunpoint. Following a brief altercation, Torres was able to wrestle the assault rifle away from one of the suspects, and then he fled on foot, authorities said.
Fearing for his life, sheriff’s officials said, Torres ran through the neighborhood seeking help from residents, which led him to the doors and windows of Williams’ home on North Pine Street.
“People keep saying he is the victim,” Williams explained. “He isn’t a victim. My neighborhood is the victim. The whole event was horrifying. My wife is traumatized. The neighborhood is traumatized because of what took place.”
Torres was subsequently charged with damage to property, but Williams doesn’t feel that is enough.
“He is a felon. A felon with a gun. He was going around corrupting my neighborhood.”
Court records show Torres does have a history of breaking and entering and larceny in Sampson County. His most recent conviction was on a charge of possession of a controlled substance where he received a suspended sentence and 18 months probation.
Speaking Tuesday night, Williams told Roseboro town board members that sheriff’s deputies have worked hard and do a good job protecting the citizens, but in this case, he doesn’t feel justice has been served.
“How is this knucklehead still walking around?” Williams questioned.
The night of the incident, Williams said it seemed like it took the deputies nearly 30 minutes to arrive. Once the call tapes were pulled, it was confirmed that it only took 13 minutes for the first deputy to arrive. That, Williams added, is still too long.
“It is my understanding that we would have a deputy in town and on duty at all times,” Williams shared.
Residents are only allowed three minutes to speak during the public comment portion of the board meeting, and with his time limit expired, Williams had one last thing to address before the board.
“I’m just thankful no one got hurt,” he concluded.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.