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Man accused of bank scare bought meat smoker with human leg inside

By WCTI Staff
Published On: Feb 05 2014 04:39:28 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 06 2014 11:21:56 AM CST
 Shannon Allen Whisnant
SEA LEVEL, CARTERET COUNTY -

A Carteret County man accused of holding a handgun while trying to enter a bank Wednesday made national headlines in 2007, when he found an amputated leg inside a meat smoker.

According to the Carteret County Sheriff's Office, 40-year-old Shannon Allen Whisnant, of Stacy, was armed with a handgun when he circled the parking lot of the Wells Fargo in the Sea Level community shortly before 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Whisnant, while holding the gun in his hand, then pulled on the bank doors to try to go inside, said deputies. The suspect has been charged with "Going Armed to the Terror of the Public."

Whisnant made national headlines in 2007 when he bought a meat smoker, only to find an amputated human leg inside. Whisnant was living in Maiden, N.C., at the time.

Whisnant said he wanted to build a museum and charge people $10 to see the limb.  He claimed he had received calls from people around the world who wanted to see the leg.

But the original owner of the leg, a South Carolina man named John Wood, said he wanted his limb back. Wood had his left leg amputated after a plane crash. He said he left his leg in the cooker in a storage shed. When Wood struggled to pay the bill, the cooker --with the leg inside-- was auctioned off.

Wood and Whisnant both appeared on the TV show, "Judge Mathis," to fight to keep the leg.

Whisnant claimed the leg was his property.

"It's mine. It's a helluva conversation piece," Whisnant said.

But Wood said he wanted his leg back so that it can be cremated with him when he dies.

Judge Greg Mathis eventually ruled that Whisnant must return the leg to Wood.

"You're not getting that leg. I'm not giving you the man's leg," Mathis told Whisnant on the show. "Bunch of weirdoes out here. What's special about him and his leg?"

The judge did order Wood to reimburse Whisnant $5,000.

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Deputies have arrested a man accused of holding a gun while circling outside a Carteret County bank, then trying to go inside.

According to the Carteret County Sheriff's Office, 40-year-old Shannon Allen Whisnant, of Stacy, was armed with a handgun when he circled the parking lot of the Wells Fargo in the Sea Level community shortly before 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Whisnant, while holding the gun in his hand, then pulled on the bank doors to try to go inside, said deputies.

The bank was closed at the time, and an employee inside called 911 while another employee triggered the silent alarm, according to investigators.

Deputies said they arrested Whisnant at the scene and seized a .38 caliber revolver. The suspect has been charged with "Going Armed to the Terror of the Public." He was placed in the Carteret County Jail under a $2500 bond.

Whisnant was later released to Carteret General Hospital for unspecified medical reasons, said investigators. His court date is scheduled for March 6.

Whisnant posted this on his Twitter account prior to Wednesday's incident:

"I been getting bank stuff ready for my campaign! The Pissed Off Peoples Party 2016! Together we will hang the cocaine cartel in DC! Donate!!"

Whisnant explained on Twitter that he will be running for president in 2016 under "The Pissed Off People's Party."