By Linda Cicoira — Former Northampton Supervisor Granville Hogg was accused late last month of brandishing a firearm at two men he says were trespassing on his property. The men claim they identified themselves as Fed-Ex workers and were trying to make a delivery but were still “held hostage” by Hogg.
Complaints were taken out against Hogg, 71, of Butler’s Court near Cape Charles. They were filed by Kyle Edward Miller, of Quarterpath Triangle in Chesapeake, Va., and Anthony C. Sivels, of Aggonne Avenue, in Norfolk, Va.
According to papers filed in Northampton General District Court, the misdemeanor offenses occurred Sept. 23, and involved brandishing “a firearm in such a manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another or hold a firearm or an air or gas operated weapon in a public place in such a manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another of being shot or injured.”
“I called 911 dispatch because me and my helper were being blocked in a driveway by a man holding a gun,” Miller wrote. “The road was Secretairy Drive and we were delivering to 21444 Oyster Cape Road, off Secretairy. He pulled out in front of us, blocking me from exiting or even getting away … while holding us up from performing service to the Eastern Shore. We are employees of Fed-Ex ground.”
“Already shaken up by being held hostage, we produced paperwork and badges showing (our) reason to be there,” Miller continued. “He said he didn’t care and wouldn’t let us leave. I have a picture of him standing in front of my van with gun in hand.”
Sivels wrote, “Me and my driver were pulling out of a driveway (to) deliver a box to someone and this man had pull(ed) in front of our truck and block(ed) us in. Then got out with a gun and ask why we (were) on his property. So we told him and show(ed) him ID information. But he still don’t let us leave and refuse to put gun away.”
Commonwealth’s Attorney Beverly Leatherbury, who also serves as the county’s attorney, asked to be removed from the case saying in a court document that it would be improper for her to handle the case. Judge W. Revell Lewis III appointed Commonwealth’s Attorney Spencer Morgan of Accomack to the case.
In an email, Hogg indicated the men were not in a Fed-Ex vehicle. Instead, he said, they were in a Penske rental truck. Hogg said they were trespassing and obtained warrants for them in that regard. The warrants were not yet returned to the court because they are in the process of being served and were not available for inspection by a reporter.
“Based on the conduct I witnessed, out of fear and respect, I have never been close enough to the individuals to read any identification they presented and (that was) the reason the sheriff’s department was notified,” wrote Hogg.
He said a “No Trespassing” sign is on Secretairy Road about 500 feet south of the intersection of Secretairy and Townfield roads. “Don’t proceed beyond the sign without an invitation … as a citizen, how many times have you noted a delivery vehicle like UPS, FedEx, or DHL delivering packages on Sunday? How many persons does it take to drive a delivery van? Do logistics companies like UPS, FedEx, DHL have requirements for their vehicles to be identifiable? … In today’s world, most logistics companies have GPS units. Did they have that capability? … To my knowledge, they did not have a parcel addressed to me or the tenant nor any former tenant … Is there anything wrong with contacting the sheriff’s department and requesting assistance in determining the identity of someone acting out of character that is trespassing on your property? When you see individuals driving recklessly, acting totally out of character, not being able to provide good reason for being on your property, I believe I have good reason to think my life is being threatened.”
A hearing will be held at 10 a.m., Nov. 14. Jack Wescoat of Eastville has been retained to represent Hogg.
Sheriff David Doughty said the incident occurred on a road belonging to Hogg, the warrants didn’t require an arrest or bond, only a promise to appear. A deputy went to the scene and will be subpoenaed as a witness. Due to Hogg’s previous position as a supervisor, “any other potential criminal issues will be investigated by the state police,” Doughty said.