Habitual huffer arrested in Wrightsville Beach

by Brian Freskos
Monday, August 2, 2010

Warren Lucas Baughman

Police arrested a Wrightsville Beach man on July 27 for huffing dust remover compounds, according to police records. It was the third time in less than three months that Warren Lucas Baughman has been taken into custody on charges of inhaling toxic substances and possession of toxic substances.

At about 10:30 a.m., Baughman, 48, was arrested at 1707 N. Lumina Ave, said Wrightsville Beach Police Officer J.K. Mobley, in a report.

He was booked on $3,000 secured bond in the New Hanover County Detention Facility that afternoon, but has since been released, according to the sheriff’s office.

Mobley, the arresting officer, said Baughman was reportedly found in possession of 12 ounces of dust remover.

Wrightsville Beach Police Chief John Carey said officers were initially dispatched to the residence because of a 911 call reporting a domestic dispute.

According to the New Hanover County Clerk of Courts Office, Baughman has been arrested in recent years on a series of drug-related charges, including multiple possessions of cocaine and methamphetamine. He also has past charges of assault, writing worthless checks and financial card theft.

In addition to July’s arrest, he was charged twice in May by Wrightsville Beach police on inhaling toxic substances and the possession of toxic substances.

This year, Wrightsville Beach police have seen their share of perpetrators using inhalants as a means to get high.

On May 11, for example, a 19-year-old named Randi Petrolino was arrested after she reportedly passed out at the wheel of her car as she crossed the Wrightsville Beach drawbridge.

Police in that case also accused Petrolino of huffing dust remover out of a spray can before she passed out. Her vehicle bulldozed through a yield sign and hit a median, vaulting it airborne for 66 feet before it slammed into a tree. No one was seriously hurt.

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