Men caught in Walmart parking lot

Havelock police arrested two men Tuesday night in the parking lot of Walmart on drug and other charges.

Andre Quaman Melvin, 32, of New Bern, was charged with felony possession of cocaine, felony possession of heroin and resisting arrest. John Milton Brown, 35, of Havelock, was charged with felony possession of heroin and carrying a concealed weapon.

Havelock Police Chief David Magnusson said that Melvin and Brown were in a 2011 Chevy Malibu in the parking lot of the retail outlet when officers approached. Brown was the driver and Melvin was the passenger. Magnusson said Melvin got out of the vehicle and ran toward the gas station.

Magnusson said Melvin was known to carry a gun and also to fight with law enforcement, so Havelock Police Officer Conner Woodling drew his weapon as Melvin moved his hand toward his waistband.

Melvin tripped as he was running, and Woodling holstered his weapon and instead used a Taser to subdue the man, Magnusson said. Melvin was searched and had a napkin containing heroin and also cocaine in his possession. Magnusson said it appeared that Melvin was attempting to remove the drugs from his waistband as he was being chased.

Officers found more heroin in the vehicle and also a Taurus .40 caliber handgun under the driver’s seat. Brown did not have a concealed weapon permit, Magnusson said.

In light of recent police-involved shootings, Magnusson said Woodling showed restraint in not using his gun and using the Taser instead.

“There is absolutely no reason to be going for your waistband and putting your hand in your pocket. Absolutely none,” Magnusson said of Melvin. “There is where the officers are at a disadvantage. There is certainly more of an atmosphere with more and more people challenging officers. More and more people are ambushing officers throughout the country, and officers should not have to wait until he looks down the barrel of a gun or has to determine the caliber of what the person is holding before he decides that he is going to respond in kind. It doesn’t work that way.”

Both men were arrested and taken to the Craven County Jail.

Melvin is in jail under a $1,921,500 bond. He had warrants for failure to pay child support and manufacturing a Schedule I controlled substance.

Melvin spent five years incarcerated in Forsyth County for felony speeding to elude arrest in 2011.

Brown was released Wednesday morning after posting bond.