Cana man takes kids hostage in N.C.

By Jeff Linville -
Ricky Hawks -

Surry County deputies defused a potentially tragic situation early July 20 after a Cana man took four children hostage in a Mount Airy, N.C. home.

Chief Deputy Lauren Osborne said Friday that deputies responded to a call around 4 a.m. to 197 Old U.S. 52 South, which is near the Holly Springs exit of U.S. 52, after receiving a report of a possible home invasion by an armed subject.

According to a witness account, a strange man came to the home of Pamela Willard in the middle of the night asking for help. He then allegedly forced his way into the home and threatened her with a handgun.

Willard said he not only closed her doors, but was attempting to tie doors off, too, when she made an escape. She said she ran to a neighbor’s house and was able to call 911.

Unfortunately, she was not able to free herself and her four children at the same time. When officers arrived, Willard was outside the residence and explained that the armed suspect was inside with her children, ages 10, 8, 5 and 2.

According to Sheriff Jimmy Combs, deputies saw the suspect looking out the window next to the front door and saw the four children looking out the living room window.

“Officers established communication with the suspect and convinced him to come outside with his hands visible where he was taken into custody,” Combs stated in a press release.

All four children were fine.

Hawks did not have any weapon on him, but upon searching the home, officers located the pistol that Hawks allegedly had tried to hide in the living room.

“I am proud of the Patrol Division and the way they handled the situation as well as the follow-up investigation that helps ensure our ability to prosecute this case,” said Combs.

Ricky Brandon Hawks, 37, of 155 Sandy Ridge Rd., Cana, received a $515,000 secured bond and a Sept. 25 court appearance after being charged with the following:

• One count of felony first-degree burglary;

• Five counts of felony first-degree kidnapping;

• One count of felony possession of a firearm by a felon.

According to the N.C. Department of Public Safety, Hawks has been convicted in North Carolina of several crimes including felony common law robbery (2001) and several from 2009: possession of Schedule III, IV and VI drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, shoplifting, larceny, carrying a concealed weapon, false insurance claim benefits, and failure to heed lights/siren.

He served less than 11 months after the 2001 felony and less than four months after all the 2009 convictions.

Ricky Hawks Hawks
Deputies make peaceful resolution

By Jeff Linville