CONCORD, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - Pastor Bill Fleming was "flabbergasted" when he received a text message from an unlicensed contractor who was just arrested.
"God was really looking out for me," said Fleming, after watching FOX 46's investigations in Terrence "Randy" Briel.
The text message offer promising a "great deal" came around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday - just hours after Briel bonded out of jail.
"I would think i took an awful lot of nerve to do that," said Fleming.
Briel's customer, Kristin Parker, helped police arrest him. She paid Briel $2300 as a down payment to build her a nearly $5000 deck. She was alarmed when she came across a series of FOX 46 investigations into Briel's business.
Parker tipped off police and FOX 46 when Briel came back to her house. He was arrested on an outstanding warrant and charged with taking money from customers under false pretense.
He was released on a $30,000 bond.
Briel did not respond to FOX 46's requests for comment.
"I was so happy I bragged to my friends, 'I'm getting the deck I've always wanted,'" said Parker, who is disabled and on a fixed-income. "And then this happened. It's been a nightmare. Then you got an angel that's stepped forward."
FOX 46 is getting results for Parker a day after she helped catch the alleged crooked contractor. Armstrong Construction of Charlotte saw her story on FOX 46 and within minutes called us offering to rebuild her deck for free.
"You got an angel that stepped forward," said Parker, in tears. "Tears of joy."
"We absolutely felt terrible for you," said Armstrong Construction of Charlotte owner Jason Kemp.
Kemp, who has more than 25 years experience, inspected the half-finished deck built by Briel. He said it would not meet code requirements and called it dangerous.
"It is not safe," he said.
"Do you think left untouched right now this is in danger of collapse?," asked FOX 46 reporter Matt Grant.
"It could," said Kemp. "It's not going to fall in immediately. Over time absolutely it would. It's a bad job."
Kemp identified several problems with the deck including the height of the stairs and the length of the wood. The support posts, which are meant to hold up the deck, easily move. Nails are seen sticking out of the wood.
Parker is grateful she will finally get her deck done the right way.
"No words," she said. "I'm just happy. I'm overwhelmed. There are good people left."