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Posted on: April 9, 2019

Press Release (4-9-19): Benson Bank Robbery Suspect Released from Hospital



Benson Police are currently searching for a suspect involved in a bank robbery attempt last week following his release from WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh.

Ronnie Hiram Wessinger Jr., 46, of 123 Rita Street in Gaffney, South Carolina, was taken to WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh on April 2 following an attempted armed robbery at PNC Bank in Benson at 400 South Wall Street.

According to reports, Mr. Wessinger entered the bank around 4:45pm armed with a handgun and a hooded sweatshirt drawn tight around his face. As he was pulling the gun from his waistband, he was wounded when a civilian at PNC produced a handgun of his own and fired two shots — hitting Mr. Wessinger in the hip and ankle area.

Mr. Wessinger dropped his gun and exited the bank where he was later found less than a block away along West Woodall Street. Benson Police, Benson Fire, Johnston County EMS, and Johnston County Sheriff’s deputies were on scene at this time.

After assessing his injuries, EMS transported Mr. Wessinger to WakeMed Hospital. The Benson Police Department filed for a warrant later the same day — April 2 — charging Mr. Wessinger with Attempted Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon and Second Degree Kidnapping.

On April 3, a Benson officer attempted to interview Mr. Wessinger at WakeMed. Mr. Wessinger indicated he did not want to make any statements without an attorney present. As documented, before leaving the hospital, Benson Police spoke briefly with his nursing staff regarding his injuries and to inquire about a timeframe for his release. Local law enforcement in Wake County were also notified of the outstanding arrest warrant.

A second warrant was taken out on Mr. Wessinger on April 9 for Possession of a Firearm by a Felon.

At approximately 9:56am this morning (4-9-19), Benson Police learned that Mr. Wessinger had been released from WakeMed without the outstanding warrants being served on him.

The Benson Police Department is currently working with other state and local law enforcement agencies to locate and apprehend Mr. Wessinger. No additional details are available at this time. Updates will follow as more information becomes available.

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