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Clayton Police Make Arrest in Greenway Robbery


Clayton Police have arrested and charged a man in last week's greenway assault and robbery.

21-year-old Satchel Tobias Needham was arrested without incident tonight in Downtown Clayton and is  charged with Assault Inflicting Serious Bodily Injury and Common Law Robbery. He is behind bars in the Johnston County Jail on $150,000 bond. 

Wil Smith, a Cleveland High School English teacher, reported that he was walking on a section of trail near Amelia Church Road on the afternoon of Oct. 24th, when two men ran up on him, knocked him on his head, leaving a deep gash near his mouth, stole his iPhone 7, credit card, driver’s license and phone, and then ran off in the woods.

"It was old fashioned police work that brought us to this arrest," said Clayton Police Chief Blair Myhand. "Needham was a suspect we had arrested last year during our department's largest drug operation. Our detectives worked our contacts in the community and  we were able to gather enough evidence to secure a warrant for his arrest. We knew the incident had set off fears about the safety of our greenways and we hope this arrest and our continued work to find the second suspect will put the public at ease."

Clayton has more than 5 miles of greenway trails, several which connect to the East Coast Greenway and Mountains to Sea Trail. They are extremely popular and hundreds of people safely ride, bike and walk them year-round.

Going back 5 years, there has only been one other incident reported on that section of greenway between Lombard & Amelia Church Road. It was an unfounded larceny reported in April 2018.

In all, from 2013 to 2018, on both the Sam's Branch Greenway and the Clayton Riverwalk on the Neuse - there were 3 dog complaints, 2 reports of damage to construction equipment, one report of items missing from a car in a greenway parking lot, one misdemeanor assault in which the victim and suspect knew each other, and one incident in which 2 people were charged with smoking marijuana.

We offer these tips to users of our greenways: Be aware of your surroundings - who's ahead and behind you. And walk with a friend. Clayton's trails are a wonderful and scenic network of public open spaces and recreational trails, but they are always safer and more enjoyable to experience with a buddy!

Clayton Police have always patrolled the greenways, on bicycles or on 4-wheeled vehicles. They have recently increased patrols, and encourage anyone who may see suspicious activity to call 911 immediately.

The attached mugshot is from a previous arrest.


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