Police: Man arrested after desertion from Fort Bliss

POSTED: 6:41 PM Jul 19 2013
AYDEN, PITT COUNTY -

Ayden police say a man was arrested by SWAT for desertion from Fort Bliss and for assault by pointing a gun.

Police say they received word that 23-year-old Craig Lang was in Ayden. "We had developed intel from fort bliss Texas that he had taken all his military equipment with him and was AWOL listed as desertion," said Chief Barry Stanley of the Ayden Police Department.

Stanley said Lang also had a warrant out for assault by pointing a gun in Harnett County. He says that stems from an encounter Lang had with a woman, either his wife or girlfriend, where he pointed a gun at a neighbor. Stanley says before he deserted Fort Bliss "he had allegedly told another soldier that he was going to come to north Carolina to kill his wife."

Stanley contacted Greenville police when he had learned that Lang may be armed and dangerous. Their SWAT team responded to Lang's parents house on Toyota Drive in Ayden, where Lang's car had been spotted.

They made contact with Lang around 2:30 Thursday afternoon and he surrendered peacefully. "It was just impressive to watch em work. You could tell with the length of time it took to plan it I mean they didn't cut any corners they didn't take any chances," said Stanley.

Donald Lang is Lang's father, who was home at the time. He said he "walked out the door and there's just police everywhere and they got guns aimed at myself, at my wife, at Craig." He described it as "a horror film to me. It was worse than anything you could imagine."

Donald Lang says he had his 10 and 13-year-old sons in the house. He says his "13 year old son looked out the window and said they're gonna kill us all dad."

Lang's family tells Newschannel 12 that he served three terms overseas with the Army. They say he was awarded a medal for saving someone's life on one of those terms.

However, the say that's not all he brought back with him. "He developed PTSD, which has been a really tough deal for him to handle," said Donald Lang.

Stanley says Lang will be picked up by either the Harnett County Sheriff's Office, or the military, from the Pitt County Detention Center. He was being held there with no bond.

Lang is not facing any charges from Pitt County.