The Delaware State Police have arrested 45-year-old Murray Fleming of New Castle, for kidnapping, aggravated menacing, and additional crimes following an incident that occurred at a New Castle Wawa last night.
Officials said on September 1, 2023, at approximately 8:38 p.m., troopers responded to the Wawa located at 7 East Commons Boulevard in New Castle, for a report of a man chasing a woman around the store with a knife.
Troopers learned that during an argument between the suspect, identified as Murray Fleming, and a 37-year-old acquaintance, he hit her and threatened to kill her while displaying a knife. A 32-year-old Wawa employee witnessed the attack and aided the woman by telling her to lock herself into an office in the back of the store.
The victim was able to get away from Fleming and lock herself in the office. Fleming then forcefully grabbed the Wawa employee as she was trying to escape, held the knife against her throat, and demanded she open the locked office door, or he’d kill her according to police.
The victim complied and Fleming shoved her away to grab the 37-year-old acquaintance. A 47-year-old patron entered the store and witnessed Fleming threatening to kill the 37-year-old acquaintance with a knife while he pinned her to the ground. The man intervened and struck Fleming with a display stand (Banana Stand), which caused Fleming to start chasing the man with the knife.
Fleming threatened to kill the man while chasing him around the parking lot until officers took him into custody police said. Officers from the New Castle City Police Department and the New Castle County Police Department arrived at the scene and took Fleming into custody without incident. No one was injured during the incident.
Fleming was taken to Troop 2, where he was charged with the following crimes:
- Kidnapping First Degree (Felony)
- Possession of a Deadly Weapon During the Commission of a Felony (Felony)
- Aggravated Menacing (Felony) – 3 counts
- Terroristic Threatening – 3 counts
- Offensive Touching – 2 counts
- Criminal Mischief
Fleming was arraigned by Justice of the Peace Court 11 and committed to Howard R. Young Correctional Institution on a $67,000 cash bond.
The Delaware State Police are still actively investigating this incident. Troopers are asking for anyone with information regarding this case to contact Corporal Z. Sherwood at Troop 2 by calling 302-834-2620.
An apparent domestic incident occurred at the Wawa store located at 7 Commons Blvd. in New Castle at around 8:30 on a Friday evening.
Witnesses at the scene have provided their accounts of the events that unfolded during this incident.
According to accounts from witnesses, a dispute between a man and a woman erupted at the store’s register. The disagreement escalated, leading to a physical altercation according to the witnesses. The situation became increasingly chaotic as the man began throwing objects around the store while the woman attempted to distance herself from him added one witness.
Store management intervened by locking the woman in the office. To gain access to the office, a combination PIN number was required. It was at this point that the man confronted an employee, inquiring if anyone knew the combination said a witness. The situation escalated as the man brandished a knife, attempting to force the manager to unlock the office door a witness said.
It was at that point that a customer, known only as “Banana Stand Guy”, inside the store took action. This individual picked up a banana stand and aggressively threw it at the man, diverting his attention momentarily. In response, the man chased the customer out of the store while still wielding the knife according to the witnesses. Store staff locked the doors, preventing the man from reentering the store until law enforcement arrived.
A second witness at the scene also reported that the incident began as a domestic dispute, prompting her to call 911 for assistance. This witness’s recollection of the incident matches the first witness’s recollection.
As the man became increasingly agitated, “he threatened those present, and someone yelled that he had a knife”, said the witness. This led to many customers fleeing the store, with the witness calling 911 to report the escalation of the incident and the involvement of a weapon. As the “Banana Stand Guy” fled the store a few other individuals who had just arrived at the scene considered entering the store to assist.
A third witness said that approximately 10 to 15 men eventually stepped up to help the “Banana Stand Guy”, safely get into his vehicle. The witness continued, saying that outside, fights broke out, and some individuals even resorted to using shovels to ensure the “knife-wielding may” would leave others alone. Eventually, the man gave up and headed toward the gas pumps.
The police arrived at this point, with the man surrendering as soon as they pulled in.
An ambulance can be seen in the photos of the scene, however, it is not clear if anyone was injured during the incident. It’s also not clear is anyone was arrested or charged in the incident. This story will be updated when police release additional details.