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home : news : news May 22, 2019

3/11/2019 3:10:00 PM
Vehicle Chase Ends With Driver Facing Traffic & Drug Charges
Photo Courtesy Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office
Photo Courtesy Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office

Lincoln County Sheriff's
Office Press Release

LINCOLNTON, N.C. – On Saturday, March 9, 2019 deputies observed a suspicious vehicle in the Walmart parking lot at 7131 NC 73 Hwy moving from parking space to parking space.

Around 9 p.m. the tan in color pickup truck left the parking lot traveling on Highway 73 then to a convenience store across the street. Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy P. Metcalf recognized the driver of the truck as Thomas Utah McDonald when he exited the vehicle at the store. A criminal search revealed that McDonald had Orders for Arrest from Mecklenburg and Catawba Counties.

Deputy Metcalf activated his emergency equipment and the driver fled on Highway 73 then north on NC 16 Highway. The driver turned onto Optimist Club Road and several other roads before finally returning to St. James Church Road where he pulled into a driveway in the 1900 block and got out of the vehicle. Deputies gave McDonald verbal commands for him to get on the ground and he complied.

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Officers smelled the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle and a search of the truck turned up a briefcase containing marijuana, drug paraphernalia, empty plastic baggies and digital scales.

McDonald, 24, of St. James Church Road, Denver, NC was taken before a Lincoln County magistrate where he was charged with felony fleeing to elude arrest, felony possession of methamphetamine, 2 counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, reckless driving, left of center, failure to stop at a stop light, driving while license revoked, and speeding 15 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. He was also served with outstanding orders for arrest from Mecklenburg and Catawba Counties.

McDonald was placed in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $45,000 secured bond. He had a first appearance in Lincoln County District Court on March 11, 2019.

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