From the March 30, 1925 issue of the Robesonian, newspaper of Lumberton, NC
A mob, numbering 50 or more, forced their way into the Martin County jail at Williamston,N.C., about 3 o’clock this morning and took therefrom Joseph A. Needleman, traveling salesman for a tobacco company, and carried him to a nearby piece of woods where a serious operation was performed upon him, according to a telephone message received here tonight from Deputy Sheriff Luther Peel, at Williamston. Needleman is now in a Washington, N.C., hospital, and his condition is regarded as serious.
Needleman, according to Deputy Peele, had been lodges in the Martin county jail on charge of making at attack on a 17 year-old girl, whome he had out riding recently. About 2:30 o’clock this morning, the deputy stated, several men went to the house of Sheriff H.T. Robeson and demanded that the keys of the jail be turned over to them. Sheriff Robeson, he said, refused to accede to the demands of the mob. Before he could dress and secure assistance, however, the men had forced the bars of the jail and removed the prisoner.
On leaving the jail the mob took Needleman to a nearby piece of woods, where the operation was performed. A knife, according to Deputy Peele, was used in performing the operation. The members of the mob then left in automobiles, leaving their victim behind. He was found a fwe minutes later by Sheriff Robeson and a posse he had organized to disperse the mob.
Sheriff Robeson, according to the deputy, is making a thorough investigation of the affair, but anticipates no further trouble. Needleman gave his age, when arrested last Friday on the assualt charge, as 21. He makes his headquarters at Kinston, N.C., but claims that his home is in New Jersey.