The Hickory Police Department has released surveillance photos of the suspect involved in a December 14 robbery at the Holiday Inn Express on Highway 70 S.E. (first reported yesterday on WHKY).

Just after 1:20 a.m. Wednesday, Hickory Police responded to the hotel where a clerk said the suspect initially requested a room. The clerk asked for I.D. and credit card information. At that point, the suspect rushed around the front desk. He told the clerk he had a knife and demanded money. He left the hotel with an undisclosed sum of cash.

The suspect is described as a short, black male with a slim build. He has long dreads, a thin mustache and hair under his lip. The suspect fled the scene in a light-colored, four-door passenger car.

25-year-old Damon Shane Simpson of Dale Avenue in Lincolnton has been arrested by Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Detectives on one felony count each of uttering a forged instrument, possession of a counterfeit instrument and obtaining property by false pretenses.

Simpson is accused of passing a fraudulent check at Jones Exxon on Highway 16 South in Denver on October 20 of this year. On November 29, the victim notified the Sheriff’s Office that his bank had rejected the check because it was written on a non-existent account in the amount of $485. Simpson obtained goods and cash when he passed the fraudulent check.

Detective Greg Hager confirmed that Simpson passed the fraudulent check and obtained warrants for his arrest. Simpson was processed in the Haven A. Crouse Detention Center. He was released after posting a $7,500 secured bond. He’ll appear in District Court on January 5.

A press release issued at about 11:30 this morning (December 16) states that Morganton City workers are working to shut off water service on a section of Pax Hill Road to repair a water line break. About 40 customers on Pax Hill from Wagner Road to Jay Clark Road will be affected. Workers expect to have the line repaired in four to five hours, barring any unforeseen problems.

For more information, call the Water Resources Department at 828-438-5276.

24-year-old Matthew Larry Shumate of Parrots Chapel Road in Sevierville, Tennessee has been charged by the Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers with second-degree kidnapping, breaking & entering a motor vehicle, felony possession of methamphetamine, felony attempted common law robbery, resisting a public officer, damage to real property, damage to personal property and possession of drug paraphernalia.

His arrest stems from a motor vehicle chase earlier this week involving Officers with the Sheriff’s Interstate Criminal Enforcement (I.C.E.) Team. Shumate was arrested at the dead end on Carl Austin Road in Statesville. Witness statements were gathered and surveillance video and in-car video were reviewed, resulting in the latest charges against Shumate.

Various local charges and out-of-state fugitive warrants were filed against Shumate earlier this week. Those charges include two counts each of fleeing to elude arrest and larceny of a motor vehicle. He was given a $15,000 secured bond for the local charges and was held without bond on the out-of-state warrants. Following yesterday’s (December 15) charges, bond was increased to $200,000, secured. Shumate was scheduled to appear in District Court in Iredell County today and again on January 3.

37-year-old Shane Edward Brazell of 2nd Avenue S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 2:40 yesterday afternoon on three felony counts of failure to appear and one misdemeanor count of failure to appear.

The charges come in connection to an April 2015 larceny at the Walmart store on Highway 70 S.E. As a result of that incident, Brazell faces felony counts of breaking & entering, larceny and possession of stolen goods. He was also charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

Brazell was taken into custody without incident yesterday on Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard S.E. in Hickory. He was taken to the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $3,000, secured. He has since been released. An appearance in Superior Court was scheduled for February 6 in Newton.

Friday, 16 December 2016 10:15

Hickory Teen Faces Felony B&E Charge

17-year-old Sulayman Admeer Williams of 23rd Avenue Drive N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 8:30 last night (December 15) on one felony count of breaking & entering and one misdemeanor count of breaking & entering.

He was charged in connection to a break-in to the activity building at Mount Olive Lutheran Church on North Center Street in Hickory. The break-in occurred sometime after December 4. The suspect made entry through an unsecured window that was damaged as the result of a previous break-in.

In the most recent incident, the building was vandalized with graffiti. Paint was spilled on the floor and equipment in the kitchen was damaged. It’s not clear how Williams was identified as a suspect or if any other suspects were involved.

Williams was taken into custody without incident at his residence. He was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $10,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled today in Newton.

42-year-old Donnie Ellis Ward of Swan Drive in Lenoir was found unresponsive in his cell just after midnight Thursday morning (December 15) at Central Prison in Raleigh. Corrections and medical staff initiated CPR, but Ward was later declared dead, the result of an apparent suicide.

The State Capitol Police Department is investigating Ward’s death.

Ward was being held at Central Prison as a pre-trial detainee. He had been scheduled to appear in Superior Court on January 9 in Wilkes County.

Ward was awaiting trial on a first-degree murder charge for the November 2015 shooting death of Eleuterio Vasquez Petrez of Abernathy Street in Lenoir. Mr. Petrez, who was 38 at the time of his death, was killed in Wilkes County’s Mount Zion community.

28-year-old Brittany Marie Palmer of Gastonia-Davidson Avenue in Gastonia has been arrested by Lincolnton Police on one felony count of possession of controlled substance in a jail or detention center.

At about 6:15 last night (December 14), Lincolnton Police Officer Thomas Hall was investigating a motor vehicle accident on the 300 block of North General’s Boulevard in Lincolnton. Officer Hall discovered that one of the persons involved in the accident -- Brittany Marie Palmer -- had an outstanding warrant from Gaston County. The warrant was for misdemeanor failure to return rental property. Palmer was arrested and placed in the Lincoln County Jail under a $1,500 secured bond.

At the jail, Officers found various controlled substances hidden in Palmer’s bra. The controlled substances will be analyzed to determine future charges, but – according to a press release from the Lincolnton Police Department – the drugs appeared to be small amounts of heroin and methamphetamine.

A warrant was issued for possession of a controlled substance in jail and Palmer was given an additional $10,000 secured bond. A first appearance in Lincoln County District Court on the drug charge was set for today.

Palmer has several previous convictions in Mecklenburg and Gaston counties, as well as a domestic violence conviction in South Carolina.

20-year-old Kenneth Anthony Robinson of 2nd Street Place S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 11:20 last night (December 14) for a felony out-of-county probation violation. Robinson is on probation following an April 2016 felony conviction in Burke County for possession of stolen goods. He had been listed as an absconder from probation.

Robinson was taken into custody without incident on 19th Street Place N.E. in Hickory. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $5,000 secured. Robinson will appear in Superior Court on January 9 in Newton.

Thursday, 15 December 2016 11:16

Hickory Man Faces Felony Stolen Vehicle Charge

30-year-old Adrian “Chihuahua” Dela Cruz Munoz of 10th Avenue Drive S.E. in Hickory Police at about 3 p.m. yesterday (December 14) on one felony count of possession of a stolen motor vehicle and one misdemeanor count of driving while license revoked. The vehicle is a 2014 Dodge Dart. No further details are available.

Officers also found orders for arrest on Munoz for two counts each of carrying a concealed gun, driving while license revoked and fictitious or altered registration card or tag.

Munoz was taken into custody without incident on the 700 block of 11th Avenue Court S.E. in Hickory. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a total bond of $38,000, secured. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton. Additional court dates were set for January 11 and February 15.

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