GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The arrest in Greenville on Monday of a suspect wanted by the FBI in a child’s murder in Florida ended a saga of incidents that started when Claude Edsel Brooks Jr. was first arrested by Pitt County deputies in February.
When they took him into custody in February, officials thought they were dealing with a 33-year-old Arizona man named Rykan Ashley Green — not Brooks, a fugitive wanted in Florida for first-degree murder while engaged in aggravated child abuse.
According to the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office, at about 10:45 p.m. on Feb. 22 deputies arrived at an area of N.C. Hwy. 903 between Ayden and Winterville following a report of a male suspect hanging out the window of a Honda Civic and “shooting a firearm toward a home and also into a field in the direction of a district court judge’s home.”
Deputies located the vehicle and conducted a traffic stop after observing the driver’s “suspicious behaviors.”
The driver produced an Arizona driver’s license that identified him as Green.
The sheriff’s office said deputies noted a “strong odor of fresh marijuana” coming from the vehicle. His false identity still intact, Brooks was arrested despite being “uncooperative and physically resistant.” He told deputies that he didn’t have a weapon, but they found a concealed handgun while searching his vehicle.
While running his information through a computer, deputies discovered Green was a convicted felon.
Deputies seized approximately four pounds of marijuana, an assortment of edibles, drug paraphernalia and more than $3,000 in cash from the vehicle. Green was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon; possession with intent to sell/deliver marijuana; carrying a concealed weapon; possession of drug paraphernalia; maintaining a vehicle for the use, storage or sale of controlled substances; and resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer.
Deputies were concerned that the suspect they just arrested was lying about his identity, noting inconsistencies in the photo and information he provided. They fingerprinted him to verify his identity.
“When meeting with the magistrate, deputies specifically explained their concern over his identity and asked that this arrestee not be released until his true identity was positively confirmed,” PCSO said in a press release. “A magistrate granted a $100,000 secured bond and Green was booked into the Pitt County Detention Center. About 2 1/2 hours later, a bondsman paid Green’s bond and he was released.”
Shortly thereafter, deputies found out their suspicions were justified.
A few hours after bonding out, “Rykan Green” was a no-show for his first court appearance. Then, the results of the fingerprint analysis revealed that the man claiming to be Rykan Green was actually 35-year-old Claude Edsel Brooks Jr.
STANDOFF AND ARREST
That all led up to an hourslong standoff Monday in which Brooks barricaded himself into a house on Buckingham Drive on Greenville.
Nearby residents were ordered to shelter in place while deputies, EMS and other personnel dealt with the situation. The sheriff’s office said Brooks “refused to surrender.” Eventually, following a “tactical operation,” Brooks was arrested inside the home’s attic without injury or shots fired.
Brooks was booked into the Pitt County Detention Center again on the same charges as well as an identity theft charge. He is being held without bond pending extradition to Florida.