Man in custody after reported sex assault shuts down North Carolina town’s Halloween festivities

State - Regional

FRANKLINTON, N.C. (WNCN) — Police said late Saturday they have arrested a man for crimes that led to the shut down of Halloween activities in the town.

Franklinton Police Chief John Green said a parent flagged down officers around 8:15 p.m. Thursday. She told them her daughter was being held against her will in a possible sexual-assault situation.

Police said the suspect was someone she knew: 19-year-old Armani Ruiz. Officers said the girl managed to escape from the house.

She told them Ruiz was armed. That led police to cancel trick-or-treating and shut down a haunted house put on by the town and FPD. Officers escorted people to their cars.

They also shut down a section of Mason Street where the suspect lives.

The police chief said Ruiz was gone by the time they surrounded and got into the house. They reported finding a stolen gun in his bedroom. A warrant for his arrest for that crime was issued.

Police said he was also wanted on domestic violence charges.

Late Saturday night, Franklinton police announced they had arrested Ruiz. He was taken into custody at his mother’s home off Lawrence Road, which has a Wake Forest address, police said.

Ruiz is charged with two counts of second-degree forcible rape, intimidating a witness, assault by strangulation, assault on a female and possession of stolen firearm, according to police.

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