Documents from the Sanford Police Department show members of the Lee County Republican Party reported damage to one vehicle and an attempt to break into another during a motor parade held Sunday in support of President Donald Trump.
The parades have been held for at least two consecutive Sundays, with multiple vehicles driving slowly through neighborhoods and commercial areas alike, waving Trump flags while honking horns.
Around 4 p.m. Sunday, as the group drove near 418 McIver Street in east Sanford, two members reported violence or attempts at violence, according to incident reports filed with the Sanford Police Department.
First, Lance Grames told officers that someone approached his vehicle and tried to remove a flag. As that happened, a window on his vehicle was broken, and Grames reported that the person then spit on him and kicked his driver’s side door.
Grames, according to police, reported the incident to the Lee County Magistrate’s Office, who issued a warrant for 19-year-old Jose Omar Benitez. Police arrested Benitez Monday on charges of simple assault and injury to personal property.
Later, Lisa Ragan told police that someone attempted to open her car door as she drove in the parade, but she drove away.
Some social media traffic indicated that there were reports of gunfire at the time, but Major Vinnie Frazer of the Sanford Police Department said officers conducted multiple interviews and weren’t able to substantiate that claim.
Both incident reports list Sherry Lynn Womack, a Republican member of the Lee County Board of Education, as a witness.
Womack can be heard in at least one video posted to social media saying that “what started as a nice, fun, freedom little convoy has not ended too well here in Lee County,” although the video in question doesn’t appear to show any of the incidents reported.
Oddly, both incident reports show Womack living at an address in Madison, North Carolina.
GIS records in Stokes County, North Carolina do show that Womack owns property at the address listed on the incident reports, but her North Carolina voter registration shows an address in Sanford. Members of the Lee County Board of Education must live in Lee County in order to be eligible for election, and while it’s unclear what address Womack lists in the state Department of Motor Vehicles database, North Carolina requires drivers to update the address on their driver’s license within 60 days of moving. Womack is on the ballot in 2020.