Reckless driving complaint leads to drug arrest
Published 8:10 am Tuesday, March 15, 2016
A 911 call about a reckless driver led to the arrest of a North Carolina man last week on multiple charges last week.
Officers of the Carter County Sheriff’s Office arrested Jose Gonzalez, 31, of North Carolina, and charged him with reckless driving, reckless endangerment, evading arrest, possession with intent to sell or deliver Schedule II narcotics, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony.
On March 8, shortly before 3 p.m., officers of the Carter County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to the Hampton community on a report of a reckless driver.
CCSO Deputy Paul Morrell saw a car matching the description given by 911 dispatchers and began to follow it. Using his radar, Morrell clocked the suspect vehicle driving 40 miles per hour in a 15 mph school zone at Hampton Elementary School.
Morrell said he turned on his emergency lights and attempted to stop the vehicle but it sped up and tried to evade him, making several turns throughout the Hampton area and reaching speeds of 60 mph.
“The vehicle traveled 4th Avenue to the intersection with Highway 321, and then made a hard right J-turn into the parking lot of Hampton Elementary,” Morrell said. “The time was 3 p.m. and school was letting out, so the parking lot was full with parents and children.”
“The vehicle swerved around several pedestrians and vehicles in the parking lot, then came back out onto 4th Avenue, turned west onto Church Street, and then turned into the yard of 214 Church St. where the vehicle came to a stop.”
Morrell said he had the driver, later identified as Gonzalez, exit the vehicle and placed him under arrest.
Officers of the CCSO’s Criminal Investigations Division responded to the scene along with U.S. Forestry Service Law Enforcement Agency Scott Cairnes along with his K9 partner Arko.
Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford said when officers searched Gonzalez and the vehicle he was driving they found two glass pipes with drug residue, approximately 40 grams of a substance believed to be methamphetamine, two digital scales, three baggies of a substance believed to be marijuana, a semiautomatic 9mm pistol, and $13,617 in cash.
Gonzalez appeared in Carter County General Sessions Court on March 9, where Judge Keith Bowers set his bond at $500,000 and appointed the Public Defender’s Office to represent him. Gonzalez is scheduled to return to General Sessions Court today.