Your community matters

Sheriff: Teen girl escapes attempted snatching by sex offender

Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.


YOUNGSVILLE — A registered sex offender chased a woman and a teenage girl last week and tried to grab and pull the teenager off with him, but was unsuccessful, authorities said.

No one was harmed, according to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

A suspect, William Richard Mims, 51, was arrested Jan. 22 and charged with abduction of a child.

According to Terry Wright, chief of staff at the sheriff’s office, deputies were called to an address on Cureton Drive, off North White Street between Wake Forest and Youngsville, around 8:45 p.m. on Jan 19.

Mims was riding his bike down Cureton Drive, but jumped off the bike to follow the teen, 15, and a 20-year-old woman, Wright said. Mims then began to chase after the two, and the victims ran off toward their home.

When the girls reached the porch, Mims grabbed the 15-year-old by the arm, Wright said. But then the victims managed to get inside the house, and Mims ran off.

We have not been able to determine if it was random or not,” Wright said. “It was frighting for the parents.”

A canvass of the neighborhood did not find Mims that night, Wright said.
Mims has a listed address on Windsor Drive in Wake Forest, but he sometimes stays at an address on Cureton Drive as well, Wright said.

Mims is a registered sex offender. He was convicted of second-degree sexual assault and kidnapping against an adult victim in Mecklenburg County in 2000 and served eight years in prison, according to records.

His other criminal convictions include attempted arson, possession of drug paraphernalia, escaping prison, breaking and entering, larceny and attempted burning of a public building.

Following his arrest last week, Mims was held at the Franklin County Detention Center under a $70,000 secured bond.

Wright said the incident is still under investigation and deputies are working to determine if there may be other victims.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Dean Woody at 919-340-4369.