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Police make an arrest in Clayton greenway attack of local high school teacher

Satchel Tobias Needham
Satchel Tobias Needham

Police have arrested a man they say attacked and robbed a local high school teacher on a Clayton greenway last week, and they are still looking for a second suspect.

Satchel Tobias Needham, 21, was arrested in downtown Clayton Thursday night and charged with assault inflicting serious bodily injury and common law robbery, Clayton police said in a Facebook post.

Wil Smith, a 40-year-old English teacher at Cleveland High School in Johnston County ,posted a detailed account of the alleged attack on his Facebook page on Tuesday. Smith said he was walking on the greenway trail near Amelia Village Apartments on Amelia Church Road on the afternoon of Oct. 24 when he noticed two men following him.

Smith said he was attacked from behind, thrown on the ground and beaten. The men stole his phone, credit cards and keys and then ran off, he said.

“It was old fashioned police work that brought us to this arrest,” Clayton Police Chief Blair Myhand said in the department’s Facebook post. “Needham was a suspect we had arrested last year during our department’s largest drug operation. Our detectives worked our contacts in the community and we were able to gather enough evidence to secure a warrant for his arrest.

Myhand continued: “We knew the incident had set off fears about the safety of our greenways and we hope this arrest and our continued work to find the second suspect will put the public at ease.”

Needham was being held in the Johnston County jail on $150,000 bond, police said.

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