Two children were transported to the hospital after authorities say they were attacked by a pair of Rottweiler dogs. Sunday at 3:56 p.m., Newton police responded to a reported animal bite at 707 North Gaither Avenue in Newton. Upon arrival officers discovered two children ages 6 & 10 had been attacked and mauled by two Rottweiler dogs. The two children were at the residence of their mother’s boyfriend, Christopher Aaron Amell. The children were staying with Mr. Amell while their mother was at work.
The two children were outside of the residence playing in the yard when the attack occurred. The mother’s boyfriend, who is the dog owner, stated he knew the children were outside playing in the yard when he decided to let the dogs out of their kennels for cleaning. After Mr. Amell let the dogs out of their kennel he went inside his residence for a few minutes and when he returned outside saw the two dogs attacking the children. Mr. Amell was able to get the children away from the dogs and into a nearby parked vehicle until he could secure one dog inside a kennel and the other dog inside his house. Mr. Amell then called 911 to report the incident.
EMS, fire and rescue responded to the scene. Both children were transported to Catawba Valley Medical Center by EMS with severe injuries. The 6 year old child was then air lifted via Med Center Air from Catawba Valley Medical Center to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. The 10-year-old was treated and released from the hospital, as of this afternoon (Monday, February 23) the six-year-old was still being treated at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte. Both dogs were secured by Newton police and transported to the Catawba County Animal Shelter. It has been determined that both dogs are up-to-date on their vaccinations. DSS was notified about the incident. The investigation is continuing.
The victim in a Lincoln County homicide has been identified as 77-year-old Lucille Miller Punch of Beth Haven Church Road in Denver. Deputies were dispatched to the residence Sunday afternoon around 1:30 p.m. to investigate a possible unattended death.
The victim's son-in-law, who lives next door, came by to take out her trash and noticed the sliding door to the mobile home open. He went inside and found Ms. Punch on a hospital-style bed, deceased. According to the Sheriff’s Office, the victim apparently had been stabbed to death. She was last seen alive at about 5 p.m. on February 21.
The ongoing investigation has taken Detectives to multiple jurisdictions as they follow up possible leads. Ms. Punch’s body was sent to Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem for an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.
The murder is the first reported in Lincoln County in 2015.
Anyone with information should call the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 704-732-9050, the Lincoln County Communications Center at 704-735-8202 or Crime Stoppers at 704-736-8909.
25-year-old Jamie Thorne Fox of Keener Road in Lincolnton and 27-year-old Jonathan Kyle Hunt of Luna Lane in Dallas have both been arrested by Lincoln County Sheriff’s Officers on drug charges. Fox was charged with one felony count each of possession with the intent to manufacture, sell & deliver a schedule VI controlled substance, maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Hunt faces misdemeanor charges for possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
They were arrested as Narcotics Investigators followed up on tips from Fox’s Keener Road neighborhood. Investigators went to Fox’s residence last night (February 19) after conducting surveillance and gathering information that led them to believe there were drugs in the home. Investigators received consent to search the residence and found marijuana that qualified for a felony charge because of the way it was packaged.
Fox was taken into custody and processed at the Lincoln County Detention Center. He released on a $20,000 secured bond. Hunt was also released on a $2,500 secured bond. No court dates are currently listed.
Narcotics Lt. Jason Reid encourages citizens call the Tip Line at 704-736-8422. According to the Lieutenant, 75% of the department’s drug arrests begin with information received on the tip line.
A home was destroyed in a fire in southeastern Catawba County. Multiple departments from two counties responded to the house fire on Peninsula Lane in Sherrills Ford. Firefighters were called to the scene at around 11 a.m. According to published reports, heavy smoke was still seen coming from the home into the early afternoon hours. The first crews on the scene saw flames shooting through the roof. No further information was available.
On Monday (February 23), the North Carolina Department of Transportation will begin a bridge replacement project in Alexander County and close Old Landfill Road near Taylorsville while construction is under way. The bridge on Old Landfill Road spans Glade Creek and was built in 1979. It is considered functionally obsolete, which means that although the bridge is safe for traffic, it needs to be updated to meet current and future traffic demands.
A detour will be in place using Crouch Road, Paul Payne Store Road and Macedonia Church Road. The road is scheduled to reopen in late June. This project is part of a $4 million contract to replace five bridges in Alexander, Catawba, Cleveland, Iredell and Lincoln counties. The project contractor is Dellinger, Inc. of Monroe.
21-year-old Bradley O’Neil Caldwell, Jr. of North Wilkesboro was arrested yesterday (February 19) in Tennessee in connection to the February 12 theft of a vehicle in Hickory. He was charged with one felony count each of breaking & entering a motor vehicle and larceny of a motor vehicle. In addition, Caldwell was served indictments on a long list of charges from Wilkes, Catawba and Mecklenburg counties. Those include six counts of misdemeanor larceny, three counts of possession of stolen goods, two felony counts of larceny, one count of possession of a stolen motor vehicle, one count of resisting an officer, one count of financial card theft, two counts of breaking & entering and one count of obtaining property under false pretenses.
He is accused of stealing a 2007 Mazda from the 1000 block of 21st Avenue N.W. in Hickory. A credit card in the vehicle was used at a large retail store in Wilkesboro. Investigators analyzed surveillance from the store and were able to identify Bradley Caldwell as the suspect. His name was entered into the National Crime Information Center database.
Authorities in Washington County, Tennessee found and recovered the Mazda. Caldwell was arrested in Jonesborough, Tennessee. It’s not clear if Caldwell’s arrest took place at the same time as the recovery of the vehicle.
Caldwell has been jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $149,500 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled for today in Newton.
The Alexander County Sheriff’s Office responded to a bank robbery call at the Bethlehem Branch of Taylorsville Savings Bank this morning (Friday, February 20). The 911 Communications Center received the hold-up alarm call around 10 a.m. and officers responded to what was quickly confirmed by bank employees to be a robbery. The suspect is described as a white male, approximately five feet, ten inches tall, slim build, possibly in their late 30’s, and was wearing blue jeans, grey hooded sweatshirt and a dark colored ski mask.
The suspect presented a dark-colored gun and demanded an undisclosed amount of currency which he told the clerk to place in a pastel purple-colored fanny pack. Witnesses described the getaway car as a light grey or silver compact sedan; possibly a Volkswagen Jetta, early 2000 model with daytime running lights and a NC registration plate.
The suspect vehicle left the bank parking lot travelling south on NC Highway 127 toward Catawba County. The investigation is ongoing and more details will be released as they become available. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call Alexander County Crime Stoppers at 828-632-8555 to provide anonymous information about the suspect. Tips can also be submitted online at www.alexandersheriff.org.
The North Carolina Bankers Association is offering a reward through their Robbery Reward Program for information leading to the arrest and indictment of any individuals who are involved. Anyone with information should contact the FBI, confidentially and toll-free, at 800-209-2293.
25-year-old Trey Alexander Monro Ingram was arrested Thursday (February 19) by authorities in Burke County. He’s charged with probation violation and failure to appear. Following the arrest, Ingram was placed in jail under $22,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for March 10.
56-year-old John David Dula of Alfred Hartley Road in Lenoir was arrested Thursday (February 19) by Hudson Police Officers. He’s charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana paraphernalia, and driving while license revoked. Following the arrest, Dula was detained at the Caldwell County Detention Center under $1,500 secured bond.
27-year-old Salisha Michelle Cox of Shang Lane in Conover was arrested Thursday (February 19) by Newton Police Officers. She’s charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Following the arrest, Cox was incarcerated in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $25,000 bond. A first appearance in court was scheduled for today.