ROCKINGHAM — A South Carolina man has been arrested in Richmond County on assault and kidnapping charges.
Robert Paul Wiggins Jr., 44, of Sumter, South Carolina, allegedly attacked another individual and also held them against their will on June 12, according to warrants for his arrest. Wiggins allegedly beat the victim with his hand, fist and feet and choked them during this altercation, leaving bruising, swelling and pain in the victim’s neck, the warrants state.
Then, when the victim tried to call 911, Wiggins allegedly took the phone and broke it.
Richmond County sheriff’s deputies arrested him three days later on June 15.
Wiggins is charged with one felony count each of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, second-degree kidnapping and assault by strangulation. He is additionally charged with one misdemeanor count each of interfering with emergency communication and injury to personal property.
A second-degree kidnapping charge is given when a defendant releases the victim in a safe place and has not been seriously injured or sexually assaulted, according to General Statute 14-39. It is unclear based on the warrants if the victim was released in a “safe place” or if the injuries listed above constitute a “serious injury” consistent with a first-degree kidnapping charge.
Wiggins was booked into the Richmond County Jail under a $75,000 secured bond and is expected to appear in court on June 25.
He has been incarcerated once before following a December 1991 conviction for a misdemeanor charge of assault inflicting serious injury, for which he served six months in prison, according to records with the N.C. Department of Public Safety Division of Adult Correction.
His most recent conviction is for violating a protective order in January 2017. He was sentenced to probation.
All defendants facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Reach Gavin Stone at 910-817-2674 or [email protected]