THOMASVILLE, N.C. –The man who barricaded himself inside a Thomasville house on Tuesday is the same man police say clung to back of a car as it was heading down I-77 in Charlotte just a few weeks ago.
Rakeem Nisham Leverett was wanted in Mecklenburg County for charges including Assault on a Female, Felonious Restraint, Injury to Personal Property, Unauthorized Use of Conveyance and Failure to Appear. After a near 6-hour standoff with police on Tuesday, Leverett faces even more charges.
Police were called to a house on Reid Street on a domestic complaint around 1:30 Tuesday afternoon. Police say Leverette strangled his girlfriend, before barricading himself inside the house.
"Time is on our side so we try to communicate, we try to talk him out of the house before we slowly start to escalate the situation," explained Captain Mark Kattner, Thomasville Police Department.
Captain Kattner says officers on the Special Response Team spoke with Leverette by phone for two hours before he stopped responding, forcing officers to take a more aggressive approach.
"We actually deployed what are called noise distraction devices just to try to get his attention, to let him know that you know, we're still here, we're not going anywhere," explained Captain Kattner.
"Later on, what you actually heard a smaller popping sound, was us launching some gas into the house to try to convince him some more to come out."
Through all the different tactics, neighbors looked on, waiting to see how this standoff would end.
"It's kind of crazy, I don't ever get this much action in Thomasville. You're always hearing it everywhere else," explained Kari Corder, neighbor.
Deborah Beasley added, "We are somewhat shocked and surprised about it."
Shortly after police shot pepper spray into the house, Leverette walked out with his hands up, surrendering to authorities.
"He was covered in insulation, he had it head to toe so we do know at one point in time he was hiding up in the attack trying to get away from the smell of gas," said Captain Kattner.
He added, "This is absolutely the best case scenario, this is what we want to happen when we get called out, because it's text book, the way it should work."
Before the standoff and assault on his girlfriend, police say Leverette also robbed a Thomasville Dollar General.
Thomasville Police charged him with Assault by Strangulation, Misdemenor Larceny and Resist Delay and Obstruct. Leverett is being held in the Davidson County Jail.
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