Homeless teen accused of taking 12-year-old along to church break-in


Pictured above: Jonathan Whitney Ridgeway – Picture courtesy of the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office


Sheriff Darren E. Campbell stated: On Saturday February 23, 2019 a call was received by the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office about a breaking and entering which had just occurred at Bright Light Baptist Church located at 478 Trinity Road north of Statesville.

When deputies arrived they met with the caller who told them when unlocked, and entered the church, he heard running in a hallway near the pastor’s office. He went on to tell the deputies he saw two males running away from the church through the cemetery. He was able to give their physical and clothing description. Deputies cleared the church and immediately set up a perimeter and patrolled the area to locate the suspects.

Moments later two subjects matching the suspects’ description were located on Midway Road a short distance from the church. Deputies stopped the two young men and asked for identification. One suspect was identified as being twelve years old. The second suspect, Jonathan Whitney Ridgeway was determined to be 19 years old.

While speaking with the two suspects, Ridgeway attempted to get away from the deputies and was detained. Both suspects were searched and items from the church were located on their person.

The two suspects were taken back to the church where they were identified by the caller as the people running away from the church.

Based on the evidence gathered Jonathan Whitney Ridgeway was taken to the Iredell County Detention Center where he was charged with: Felony Breaking and Entering a Place of Worship, Felony Larceny After Breaking and Entering, Misdemeanor Resisting a Public Officer and Misdemeanor Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor.

Magistrate R. Imes issued Ridgeway a 40,000.00 dollar secured bond on these charges.

The juvenile will be charged through Juvenile Services.

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