Peeping suspect captured after release from hospital, Fayetteville police say

Cumberland County News

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – A peeping suspect who was released from the hospital after he was injured when caught looking into a 2-year-old girl’s room has been captured, Fayetteville police said Friday.

Tuesday around 11 p.m., a resident on Fort Bragg Road heard a noise outside their home and found Steven Dunning looking into his 2-year-old daughter’s room, police said.

The father said he was going to get a glass of water that night when he heard something outside and went to check it out.

The father said he confronted Dunning and a fight followed. He believes the suspect was trying to break into his home. 

Police said Dunning was then injured and the resident held Dunning until police arrived. The extent of Dunning’s injuries were not immediately available, but his mug shot showed he had two black eyes.

Ashley Lara, the girl’s mother, tells CBS 17 that Dunning was transported to UNC Hospital for treatment and he was released without being arrested.

“We immediately began a search for him,” Fayetteville police Lt. Gary Womble said.

Lara said during the period between his release and apprehension that she was worried about Dunning being out on the streets and was working to obtain a restraining order against him.

 “We are concerned when a process breaks down or doesn’t work properly or there’s a lack of communication or maybe a protocol needs to be updated or fixed and that’s what we’re looking into right now,” Lt. Womble said. 

Dunning was later captured.

State and federal privacy laws prevent hospitals from notifying law enforcement of a patient’s discharge.

North Carolina law states that law enforcement may be responsible for medical expenses if a patient under arrest and receiving treatment.

Dunning was later charged with felony attempted breaking and entering of a building and (misdemeanor) secret peeping. He received a $125,000 secured bond. 

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