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SHARPSBURG — Mayor-elect Robert L. Williams Jr. was arrested on impaired driving and gun charges shortly after his Tuesday election win.
According to Sharpsburg Police Chief John Hunt, Williams was stopped at 8:05 p.m. after a report from a concerned citizen that Williams was driving a black Dodge Ram truck and appeared to be impaired.
Sharpsburg Police Officer William Bruesch located the vehicle on Mill Branch Road and proceeded to follow it.
“The vehicle failed to maintain the lane of travel, which gave the officer reason to believe the report of an impaired driver was accurate,” Hunt said in a release. “The police officer proceeded to stop the vehicle with blue lights and siren activated. The driver, Mr. Robert Williams Jr., eventually stopped on Sandy Knob Lane just prior to his residence.”
Williams was charged with failure to maintain lane control; driving while impaired; two counts of resisting, delaying or obstructing an officer; possession of a concealed firearm; possession of a firearm after consuming alcohol; and possession of a firearm on government property. All charges are misdemeanors, Hunt added.
Williams was at Sharpsburg Town Hall — a polling site — prior to his arrest, Hunt said.
“We ask people to cooperate with us, but once they were trying to put handcuffs, he was trying to resist the handcuffs and struggled. Two officers were trying to put his hands behind his back and he struggled with the officers,” Hunt said.
Hunt said Williams’ gun, a Bersa Thunder .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol, was confiscated and placed into evidence.
The handgun was found in the vehicle in a black case, Hunt said, near or underneath the driver’s seat.
Williams registered a blood alcohol level of 0.13, according to Hunt. The legal limit in North Carolina is 0.08.
Williams was released on an unsecured bond and is scheduled to appear in Nash County District Court on the charges June 5.
Sharpsburg Mayor Randy Weaver, who lost to Williams by 7 votes, said residents who voted for Williams “got what they deserved.”
Sharpsburg police arrested Williams about 35 minutes after the polls closed at 7:30 p.m.
The 53-year-old mayor-elect is a former member of the U.S. Army and a Desert Storm veteran. Williams is a former Rocky Mount police officer and has lived in Sharpsburg for more than 20 years.
In Tuesday’s election, Williams came out ahead of Weaver with an unofficial tally of 169 votes to Weaver’s 162.
The candidates initially clashed last November, with Weaver edging past Williams with 139 votes to Williams’ 136.
Voting irregularities at the Wilson County polling place at Elm City Elementary School led to a special election being called. The Sharpsburg town limits are divided between Wilson, Nash and Edgecombe counties, requiring each county to provide a site for its Sharpsburg residents to vote.
On Tuesday night, Weaver said he was waiting for the official results before deciding if he would challenge the outcome.
Weaver said he had concerns about the allegations against Williams.
“My understanding is that he was drunk at the polling place at the town of Sharpsburg. He was drunk there in his vehicle,” Weaver said. “What upsets me is he was at a polling place with people walking to and from their vehicles to the polling place, and there he sits under the influence with the vehicle running. He could have backed out or drove forward and run over someone and took a life. That’s what upsets me.”
Williams could not be reached for comment Wednesday.