A Southern Pines man accused of sexually assaulting a child was apprehended Sunday after he jumped in a creek. But it wasn’t the police who hauled him in.
Vinton John Huntley Nation, 30, was taken into custody by bounty hunters from BEAST Fugitive Recovery, a veteran-run business based in Cumberland County. Co-owner Nick Dawson, a former Army sergeant, said the agency was hired three months ago to track down Nation.
Dawson and other agents from BEAST — an acronym for Bail Enforcement Apprehension and Surveillance Team — found Nation at a home in the 5000 block of Summer Ridge Drive, a cul-de-sac near All-American Freeway in Fayetteville.
“As soon as he heard our vehicles approaching, he took off and jumped into the river,” Dawson said in a phone interview. “He definitely gave us a run for our money.”
It was the second time Nation had run from BEAST agents, who first located the fugitive a week earlier at a mobile home in Vass. He eluded the bounty hunters then by climbing out of a window and hiding in the woods, according to Dawson.
“Most (fugitives) don’t run from us, but he has a lot to lose,” Dawson said. “He is here on a green card, and he knew a conviction would get him deported.”
Nation is charged with 24 offenses, some of which include indecent liberties with a child, statutory rape, sexual battery and felony possession of cocaine. He faced many of the same charges when he was arrested in October 2017 by the Southern Pines Police Department.
A widely shared Facebook video of that arrest shows Nation being shocked with a Taser. Writing in a news release, the police department said Nation was “combative, resisting arrest and failed to follow the directions from the arresting officers.”
The agency wrote that officers told Nation to place his hands behind his back “in excess of 10 times,” and gave him “over 24 commands seeking voluntary compliance.” While pinned to the ground, he allegedly grabbed the officers’ clothing and equipment.
Complaining of back pain and difficulty breathing, Nation was taken to FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst for examination. After being discharged later that evening with “no notable injuries,” he allegedly ran away from police in the hospital’s parking lot.
Nation, who police said was still in handcuffs and a hospital gown when he fled, was found a month later by U.S. marshals in the attic of a Fayetteville home. He subsequently skipped bail and went back on the lam.
BEAST agents located Nation’s hideout on Summer Ridge Drive by surveilling a relative who still lives in Moore County. Dawson said bail agents from DJ’s Bail Bonds of Raleigh and Bad Boyz Bail Bonds of Fayetteville assisted with the fugitive’s capture.
“We’re pretty tenacious,” Dawson said. “We get results and we love what we do.”
Nation was temporarily jailed in Cumberland County before being placed in the Moore County Detention Center on Monday under a $200,000 secured bond. He is scheduled to appear in Moore County Superior Court on Dec. 12.