An Army couple on Wednesday helped police in Fayetteville, North Carolina, arrest one of the city's most wanted suspects.
Curtis Perry King, 43, was arrested shortly after midnight Wednesday after a standoff with police. The incident happened in the woods across the street from where Luke Harvey and Natasha Woodruff live.
King faces robbery, breaking and entering, kidnapping, larceny and several other charges, according to an incident report from the Fayetteville Police Department. Fayetteville is just outside Fort Bragg, one of the Army's largest installations.
On Tuesday evening, about 8:30 p.m., Harvey, who is Woodruff's boyfriend and a former infantry sergeant, was heading out to take their dog for a walk when he saw a man in their backyard.
The man was trying to get into the house through the back door, said Harvey, who served eight years in the Army and deployed to Iraq in 2008.
Curtis Perry King, who is accused of three home invasion robberies within 24 hours, appears at the Cumberland County Detention Center in N.C. on Wednesday.
Photo Credit: Raul R. Rubiera/The Fayetteville Observer
"I caught him in the act, startled him, and I recovered faster than him, so it kind of worked out," Harvey said.
The man, who was "acting very strange, very erratic," lunged toward Harvey, who sicced his dog on the man.
"He was definitely out of it," Harvey said. "He was still walking towards me with the dog hanging off him."
Harvey then grabbed a shovel and hit the man before running inside to check on his 10-year-old son.
When Harvey returned to the back yard, he saw the man walking away into the woods across the street.
At that time, Woodruff was on her way home from work.
The pair called the police, who came, checked the area, but didn't find the man, Harvey said.
A couple hours later, about 10 p.m., Harvey went outside to smoke a cigarette.
"I was cussing into the woods, and [the man] replied, 'I'm sorry, my name is Maurice,'" Harvey said.
Harvey's instincts kicked in, and he kept the man talking as he texted Woodruff to call 911.
"It was pitch black," Harvey recalled, adding that he kept the man talking for about 40 minutes, "yelling back and forth through the woods," until the police arrived.
Harvey said he kept the man talking so he could tell, from the sound of his voice, where he was.
Luke Harvey talked to the suspect who was hiding in the woods, while police moved in and made the arrest.
Photo Credit: Courtesy
"It was really strange," he said. "It was like I was talking to three different people even though it was just him in there. ... He was really messed up."
Woodruff, who was with Harvey, her loaded pistol ready just in case, agreed.
"He would switch personas," she said about the man. "We thought there were three or four different guys out there. It was totally crazy. I was just hoping to God this guy didn't come out of the woods shooting at us."
When the police arrived, the man refused to come out.
Harvey filled in the police officers with the layout of the woods and what the man had told him.
After further negotiation, this time with the police, the man was arrested without incident.
It wasn't until later that Harvey and Woodruff learned the man's identity.
King is accused of committing three home-invasion robberies in 24 hours, and he had been the subject of an intense police search, according to the Fayetteville Observer.
The newspaper reported that the first robbery happened about 4 p.m. Monday when a homeowner arrived home and allegedly found King, armed with a .380-caliber handgun, inside the house.
Later that night, a homeowner reported hearing someone trying to break into his house, the newspaper reported. King is accused of breaking into that house, wresting a shotgun from the homeowner, and taking the weapon and a phone, police told the Fayetteville Observer.
The third robbery happened Tuesday morning. The 71-year-old woman inside the house was bound with duct tape before King allegedly left with a .357-caliber handgun, money, a phone, and the victim's sedan, the newspaper reported.
Harvey said the whole encounter was surreal.
"Once I had complete control of the situation, it was almost comical," he said. "I thought, 'this is pretty crazy. I have a guy in the woods apologizing to me for trying to break into my house.' It's the most random thing that's happened to me stateside."
He credits his Army training for enabling him to stay calm.
"It was definitely a confidence and being committed," Harvey said. "If I had faltered, he definitely could have taken advantage. It helped me maintain control of the situation and be aware of what was going on."