31-year-old Yuiman Eduardo Zelaya-Amador of Old Tavern Lane in Maiden was arrested Saturday (August 31) by Maiden Police Officers. He's charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury. The Catawba County Sheriff's Office also placed Zelaya-Amador on an ICE Detainer. The suspect was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility without bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled today (September 3).
51-year-old Jason Britt Medlin of Maple Drive in Lenoir has been arrested by Lenoir Police on one felony count of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.
Events leading to his arrest began on August 19 when Police received information regarding suspicious activity on social media. Shortly after 6 p.m. yesterday (August 29), Investigators with the Lenoir Police Department and Agents with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation served a search warrant at Medlin's residence. The search led to the discovery of several electronic devices that contained pornographic images of children.
Medlin was arrested at arrested at about eleven o'clock last night and taken to the Caldwell Co. Detention Center under a $75,000 secured bond. He'll make a first appearance in District Court on September 3.
The investigation is ongoing. Additional charges are expected.
Catawba County today announced it has been selected to participate in the national Advancing Pretrial Policy and Research (APPR) grant initiative as a Research-Action Site. Catawba County is among five counties (including communities in Alabama, Georgia and Washington) selected to participate through a competitive application process.
As an APPR Research-Action Site, Catawba County will receive intensive assistance from national justice experts to study our pretrial system, understand our data, and design and implement research-based strategies to meet local needs.
Catawba County will be a member of the APPR initiative for five years. The first year will involve a robust planning process of research and analysis, guided by local justice system officials and in consultation with community leaders, to identify opportunities for improvement.
Alongside other modifications, Catawba County will begin testing the Public Safety Assessment, a pretrial risk assessment data tool that provides local justice system officials with additional information to support pretrial release decision making.
Additional pretrial advancements will be determined through the planning phase. The information gained from Catawba County by the APPR team will be disseminated to advance research-based pretrial policies and practices nationally.
39-year-old Mary Elizabeth Grindle Branch of Huie Street in Newton was arrested Thursday (August 29) by Granite Falls Police Officers. She's charged with felony uttering counterfeit coins and possession of a counterfeit instrument. Branch was jailed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $15,000 secured bond. A District Court date was scheduled today (August 30).
41-year-old Laura Marie Caldwell of 6th Street N.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at 8:35 last night (August 29) on one felony count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance. The warrant for her arrest was issued on August 19.
Caldwell was taken into custody without incident at a salon on 3rd Avenue N.W. where she is employed. She was processed at the Hickory Police Department and then released under a $5,000 secured bond. An appearance in Superior Court was scheduled today in Newton.
34-year-old Anwar Vanchass Powell of 13th Avenue N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at 10:45 a.m. yesterday (August 29) on one felony count of possession of a firearm by a felon and misdemeanor counts of possession of marijuana up to half an ounce and possession of drug paraphernalia.
His arrest was the result of a Hickory Police narcotics investigation. According to H.P.D.'s arrest report, Powell was in possession of a handgun at the time of his arrest.
Powell was taken into custody at his residence. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $30,000, secured. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.
51-year-old Melea Melissa Walker of Blowing Rock Boulevard in Lenoir was arrested Thursday (August 29) by Lenoir Police Officers. She's charged on a felony fugitive warrant from Kentucky, the charges in that state are unspecified. Walker was detained under $20,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled Thursday.
23-year-old Aaron Wayne Douglas II and 26-year-old Jesse Wayne Douglas, both of the same Crown Court, Lenoir address, 19-year-old Marcus Savon Bowman of Hillock Drive in Morganton, and 23-year-old Samantha Leanne McLean of Hillcrest Street in Hudson, were all arrested Thursday (August 29) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. They're all charged with felony counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon and discharge a firearm into occupied property. Aaron Douglas is also charged with failure to report an accident.
All four suspects were placed in the Caldwell County Detention Center, Bowman, McLean, and Jesse Douglas under $100,000 secured bond apiece, and Aaron Douglas under $101,500 secured bond. Aaron Douglas, Bowman, and McLean were all scheduled to appear in District Court Thursday. Jesse Douglas was scheduled to make a District Court appearance today (August 30).
The Catawba County Sheriff's Office reports that they've been getting several reports of scammers this week targeting residents of the county. The scammers are contacting potential victims via telephone. The Sheriff's Office wanted to give citizens some pointers on how to deal with these phone calls.
The Sheriff's Office reminds citizens that the scammers are very good at what they do. They will be persistent and are very good at talking people into doing what they want. Do not give out any personal information including social security numbers, PIN numbers, account information, drivers license information, etc.
You will not be arrested, this is a common threat that scammers use. In addition, most people's addresses, phone numbers, and other information is easy to find on the internet. They will use this info to make it sound like they are legitimate.
The scammers can use programs that change their phone number to make it look as if the call is coming from another number, such as our the Sheriff's Office number, or a bank, or some other legitimate entity.
If you are unsure if it is a legitimate call, ask for their name, then tell them you will call them back at the number listed for the bank or company they are calling from that you have in your records, not a number they give you.
Simply hang up on them. The IRS, District Attorney's Office, Clerk of Court, or any law enforcement agency will not ask or demand payment on the phone.
To ensure the most safe and efficient travel possible for North Carolina residents and visitors this Labor Day weekend, the N.C. Department of Transportation will suspend most road construction projects causing lane closures on major routes across the state.
Where possible, closed lanes will be opened from Friday morning until Tuesday evening. There are, however, some locations where the type or stage of construction will not allow an opening for safety reasons.
Drivers can check the status of the route they plan to take in advance by visiting DriveNC.gov. They can also follow NCDOT on social media to track travel updates by region or route.
NCDOT encourages drivers to follow these tips to navigate the roads safely over the holiday weekend:
Leave early to get a head start on your drive. Travel at non-peak hours when possible. Stay alert, even if construction work is suspended, you may encounter narrowed lanes and traffic shifts in work zones. Be patient and obey the posted speed limit. Use alternate routes when possible to avoid traffic congestion. Travel at times when you are normally awake and take frequent breaks. Avoid distracted driving and don't drive drunk or impaired.
Labor Day weekend is also a time for law enforcement to crack down on drunk driving. The N.C. Governor's Highway Safety Program has already started its “Booze It & Lose It" campaign, geared toward catching people who are driving under the influence.
Sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols will be in place in all 100 counties through Monday to keep impaired drivers off the roads. If you plan to drink over the holiday period, NCDOT and GHSP strongly urge you to call a friend, use a ride-share service or take a cab or public transit.
The identity of a man killed when he was hit by two vehicles in Burke County yesterday has been released. The deceased is 57-year-old Kevin Roger Huffman of Hildebran.
Mr. Huffman was killed at about 6:30 a.m. yesterday on Old N.C. 10 at the intersection of I-40 West (Exit 118) when the moped he was driving reportedly ran a red light and was struck by a 2006 Chevrolet Equinox driven by a 39-year-old Hickory woman. As witnesses attempted to provide aid prior to the arrival emergency personnel, a 2010 Toyota 4Runner driven by a 69-year-old Morganton woman hit the victim a second time.
Mr. Huffman was pronounced dead at the hospital in Valdese. There is no update from the district attorney’s office concerning any possible charges.
28-year-old Joshua Colby Stamey of Palmer Place in Hudson and 36-year-old Kasey Lea Hice of Spruce Street in Granite Falls were both arrested by Hickory Police just before 10 a.m. yesterday (August 28). They were each charged with felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Stamey also faces one misdemeanor count for possession of a schedule IV controlled substance. Hice faces additional charges for felony possession of a schedule II controlled substance (methamphetamine), along with misdemeanor counts of possession of stolen goods and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Both suspects were taken into custody without incident at a hotel on 13th Avenue Drive S.E. in Hickory. They were taken to the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond for Stamey set at $12,500, secured, while Hice was given a $7,500 secured bond. Neither suspect remained in jail in Catawba County as of this afternoon. Stamey has District Court dates on September 3 in Caldwell County and on September 9 in Catawba County. Hice was due to appear in District Court today in Newton.
30-year-old Dustin Scott Myers and 50-year-old Curtis Lee Miller, both of the same 10th Street Blvd. NW, Hickory, address, were arrested Monday (August 26) by Hickory Police Officers. Myers is charged with two felony counts of obtaining property by false pretense and one felony count of financial transaction card theft. Miller is charged with felony counts of financial transaction card fraud and possession of stolen property along with a misdemeanor count of failure to appear.
On Monday, Hickory Police responded to a business on Catawba Valley Boulevard in reference to a reported fraud. Officers learned that the suspect, Myers, was at an address on U.S. 321 NW. Myers and Miller were both arrested on charges connected to the reported fraud along with outstanding warrants.
Both suspects were detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility, Myers under $15,000 secured bond, Miller under $14,000 secured bond. Both suspect remained in jail as of earlier today (August 29). They were both scheduled to appear in District Court Tuesday (August 27). Miller has a District Court date scheduled for October 7. No upcoming court dates were listed for Myers.
49-year-old Michael Darren Mehaffey of Witherspoon Drive in Claremont was arrested Tuesday (August 27) by Hickory Police Officers. He's charged with felony counts of possession of a stolen motor vehicle and possession of schedule II controlled substance. WHKY previously reported on his arrest Wednesday (August 28), more information has been released.
Hickory Police Officers were on patrol at The Aquarium on Highway 70 SW when they spotted a vehicle that had been reported stolen from Taylorsville. Mehaffey was found inside the business and was arrested. During the arrest, officers reportedly found 1.1 grams of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.
Mehaffey was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $10,000 secured bond. He remained in jail as of earlier today (August 29). His next District Court date is set for September 18.
29-year-old Homer Lee Cook of Iron Lane in Morganton was arrested Sunday (August 25) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony probation violation along with misdemeanor counts of resist, delay, or obstruct a public officer, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
On Sunday, a Burke County deputy saw the suspect driving a vehicle at the Zion and Amherst Road intersection in Morganton. The deputy was aware Cook had an outstanding felony probation violation order for arrest. The previous day, a Drexel Police Officer and the deputy reportedly observed the suspect and his father at the Citgo gas station in Drexel. When the vehicle left the station and officers attempted to catch up with the car, the suspect, Cook, jumped from the vehicle and ran into the woods. The officers were unable to locate Cook.
When the deputy turned his car around at the Zion and Amherst Road intersection on Sunday, Cook turned into the drive of 1150 Amherst Road and reportedly jumped out and ran from the car. He ran behind the residence and then back to the front of the house.
According to a news release from the Sheriff's Office, during the foot pursuit, Cook fell. Cook attempted to get back up, but the deputy caught up and forced Cook back to the ground. While in the roadway, Cook was struggling to get back up while the deputy was trying to keep Cook down and get him handcuffed. When Cook raised his hands and told the deputy “you got me” the deputy was able to roll Cook over and handcuff him without further incident.
According to the news release, the deputy checked Cook for injuries and noticed a small laceration to Cook’s nose and on the left side of Cook’s head. The wounds had stopped bleeding by the time Cook was placed in the officer’s car. A search of Cook’s wallet reportedly resulted in the discovery of two syringes and a “snort” straw. An inventory search of Cook’s car reportedly resulted in the discovery of a glass smoking pipe commonly used to ingest methamphetamine.
Cook did not request any medical care. His bond was set at $12,500. A District Court appearance is scheduled for November 4. The arresting deputy completed a “use of force report” to be reviewed by the command staff. An internal use of force investigation was completed. In light of comments made by Homer Cook and his mother alleging excessive use of force, Sheriff Whisenant has requested the SBI investigate the matter and share their findings with the District Attorney.
21-year-old Ross Yates Summey of Kristin Lane in Hudson was arrested Wednesday (August 28) by Lenoir Police Officers. He's charged with possession of methamphetamine. Summey was brought to the Caldwell County Detention Center where bond was set at $10,000 secured. A District Court date is set for September 18.
43-year-old Lisa Rhom Barlow of Lloyd Beaver Road in Morganton was arrested Tuesday (August 27) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with felony counts of larceny and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Barlow was brought to the Caldwell County Detention Center where bond was set at $5,000 secured. A Superior Court appearance is scheduled for November 4.
37-year-old Seth Grayson Reeves of Stony Point was arrested Wednesday (August 28) by Alexander County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with four felony counts of indecent liberties with a child and one felony count of statutory sex offense with a child.
The arrest follows an investigation conducted by the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office. The victim was not related to Reeves. The suspect was incarcerated in the Alexander County Detention Center under a $1,000,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for September 9.
Catawba County Animal Services has confirmed the county’s sixth rabies case of 2019 following an incident in Maiden. Previous cases reported to the county this year occurred in Claremont, Hickory, Maiden and Newton.
On Monday (August 26) Animal Services responded to a call from a Maiden resident concerning a dog bitten by a fox. The fox was sent to the North Carolina Public Health Laboratory in Raleigh, which notified Animal Services Wednesday (August 28) that the fox tested positive for rabies.
Because the dog’s owner had proof of prior rabies vaccination, the dog was provided a booster vaccine the day after the incident. Per state vaccination guidelines, animals with prior rabies vaccination should receive a rabies booster within 96 hours of possible rabies exposure.
Signs that an animal may be infected with rabies include loss of appetite, irritability and unusual aggression, lack of fear and restlessness, dilated pupils, seizures, trembling and unsteadiness, difficulty swallowing, and drooling or foaming at the mouth. People who encounter an animal with any of these symptoms should avoid contact with the animal and report it to Catawba County Animal Services at (828) 464-7686. Pet owners who suspect their pet had contact with a rabid animal are also urged to call Animal Services.
Animal Services reminds pet owners that rabies is a threat to pets and humans year-round. The best way to protect pets is to have them properly vaccinated for rabies.
30-year-old Corey Allen Anderson of Stanley has been arrested on charges of felony possession of a stolen vehicle, fleeing to elude arrest in a motor vehicle, reckless driving to endanger, failure to heed a blue light or siren, and resisting, delaying, or obstructing a public officer. His arrest was the result of vehicle chase that began in Gaston County at about 5:45 Sunday afternoon (August 25).
The vehicle's owner had reported it stolen out of Mecklenburg County. Gaston County Officers encountered the vehicle as they responded to the call. The ensuing chase led Officers through Gaston County and into Lincoln County. The car crashed into a soybean field on Pleasant Grove Church Road, north of Crouse.
The vehicle's occupants ran from the scene. Lincoln County Deputies and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol assisted in locating two individuals. The driver, Corey Allen Anderson, was arrested and charged by Officers from Gaston County.
Anderson was placed in the Gaston County Jail under a $52,500 secured bond. He'll appear in a Gaston County courtroom on September 12.
No value has been placed on the damage to the soybean crop in Lincoln County. Authorities in Gaston County continue to investigate.