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Bessemer City Police Department

Thomas E. Ellis, Jr.

 Chief of Police

Bessemer City, NC – (Monday, June 3, 2024) On Monday, June 3, 2024, at approximately 9:30 a.m., the Bessemer City Police Department received a call from an anonymous individual reporting they heard a woman screaming for help from a camper behind a home at 104 E Hartford Ave.

Responding officers arrived at the scene within five minutes and made contact with the victim, who reported that her husband, Benjamin Russell Clemmer, DOB:  04/26/1978, a resident of Dallas, N.C. had assaulted her with a metal pipe, strangled her, and attempted to suffocate her before leaving the scene with their 2-year-old son.

A short time later, Bessemer City Officers discovered that Clemmer had barricaded himself inside the camper with the child. As officers approached the camper, Clemmer threatened to kill the child, the officers, and himself, claiming to have a gun and a pipe bomb.

Hostage negotiators from the Gaston County Police Department were called to the scene and established contact with Clemmer, working diligently to negotiate a peaceful surrender. After intense negotiations, Clemmer agreed to release the child just before 11:00 a.m.

Following the child’s release, Clemmer continued to threaten the officers and expressed a desire to commit suicide. In response,Gaston County (ERT) officers deployed tear gas and made entry into the camper, successfully taking Clemmer into custody.

Clemmer was transported to CaroMont Regional Medical Center due to self-inflicted injuries sustained during his attempt to commit suicide. He was charged with Kidnapping, Assault with a Deadly Weapon, in addition to Strangulation, and could be facing additional charges as the investigation develops.

The child was unharmed and has been safely reunited with his mother.

Chief Ellis praised the outstanding work of the responding officers and negotiators with the Gaston County Police Department, Gaston County Sheriffs Office and the Cherryville Police Department “Their swift actions and professional conduct were instrumental in resolving this dangerous situation without further harm. We are grateful for their dedication and service.”


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