4 arrested, 13 guns seized from Epicenter parking deck, police say

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — All was back to normal in uptown Charlotte Monday morning after what was, by all accounts, a very busy and quiet CIAA week -- a welcome change from the last few years.

There were plenty of police in the uptown area all week and very few incidents to report.

The most significant arrests came Sunday morning when officers arrested four men after finding more than a dozen guns in their cars at the Epicenter parking deck.

Authorities said officers saw several vehicles with firearms and drugs in the parking deck around 2:40 a.m.

Laderick Dequan Burnett, 18, was arrested for possession of marijuana, and two guns were seized.

Raphael Scott, 27, was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon, and five guns were seized from him, along with 10.9 grams of marijuana and five hydrocodone pills, detectives said.

Danny Taylor, 27, was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and possession of marijuana.

Rodney Mangrum, 22, was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and possession of marijuana.

There was no repeat of the barrage of gunfire that happened in each of the last two CIAA tournament weeks, and business was good as well.

Michael Smith with Charlotte Center City Partners was out and about himself and told Channel 9 the week-long festivities all came together nicely.

“I think CMPD did a great job,” Smith said. “I think our hospitality community did a great job. I got to see some of that in action. I think we can declare this one a victory and something that's really good for our community.”

The CIAA has made noise about possibly leaving Charlotte, and Smith said he would like to see the city lobby to keep the tournament in the Queen City.

John Clifton, a local promoter, thought the crowds were down from previous years and that the CIAA may be on its way out.

“I think it's losing its ground and I think it's leaving Charlotte,” Clifton said. “I could be wrong but I think it's leaving Charlotte.”

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