‘Adrenaline kicks in’: Man recounts being threatened by man with chainsaw at hotel in NC

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — People at three separate motels in Raleigh were terrorized Saturday night by a chainsaw-wielding suspect. Jacob Vanderburg, 27, was arrested and charged in connection with it.

It started at the Claremont Inn on South Saunders Street around 9 p.m. Saturday. Police released images from surveillance video Sunday morning. Hours later, Vanderburg was taken into custody in Garner.

An employee at the Super 8 called 911.

“There was a white man with a white coat. He got down from his car, black car, and he had a saw in his hand. Gas, electric, and he tried to cut the door,” the caller said.

The attendant told the dispatcher he has surveillance video of the guy.

“He came to me asking for tobacco or something,” Jay Hilliard said.

Hilliard said he was staying at the Super 8 that night. He was walking to his car to get something when Vanderburg approached, chainsaw in hand. Hilliard said he wanted tobacco.

“I was like, ‘I don’t do that,’ and I guess he got upset about it and turned the chainsaw on. I’m already weirded out because he has a chainsaw. I’m getting in the car. Adrenaline kicks in when he starts coming towards the car with the chainsaw and luckily I had pushed start,” Hilliard said.

He drove off. When he got back, the suspect was gone.

“I don’t know. That’s the scary thought about it. If I didn’t leave, what would have happened?” he said.

Police said Vanderburg stopped by three motels all near South Saunders Street. He’s also charged with kidnapping and assaulting a woman. Police wouldn’t say what led up to that, but someone heard her screams and called 911.

Then investigators said Vanderburg drove to the Lowe’s in Garner and broke the front doors. They said he stole another chainsaw from that store.

Vanderburg appears to be staying with his sister in Garner. No one answered when CBS 17 stopped by Monday evening.

He’s being held on a $270,000 bond and is due back in court April 12.

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