China Grove man charged with DWI in a ‘Sleepy Hollow’ sheriff’s car

  • Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 10:07 a.m.
    UPDATED: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 10:30 a.m.
A China Grove man took a Sleepy Hollow TV pilot vehicle on a ride Saturday night. He was charged with speeding, DWI and not having a driver’s license. (Submitted photo)
A China Grove man took a Sleepy Hollow TV pilot vehicle on a ride Saturday night. He was charged with speeding, DWI and not having a driver’s license. (Submitted photo)

SALISBURY — Authorities say a China Grove man took a prop car from the TV pilot being filmed here for a little ride — after drinking.

Christopher Anthony Diederich, 49, of Moorland Park Street, was charged Saturday night with driving while impaired, no operator’s license and speeding — in a Sleepy Hollow Sheriff’s vehicle.

Rowan County Sheriff’s Deputy Lt. Gene Smitley was on patrol around 8 p.m. along N.C. 152 when a Chevy Tahoe headed east traveled left of center and sped away. The deputy pursued and clocked the driver, later identified as Diederich, going 80-90 mph.

The deputy could see the word “Sheriff” written on the back of the sport utility vehicle.

“At first Smitley didn’t know if the car was from another county,” said Sheriff’s Capt. John Sifford.

The caught up to the vehicle when the SUV was slowed by other traffic. The driver pulled into the parking lot of the former Atwell One Stop. When the deputy got out of his patrol car and saw the words “Sleepy Hollow Sheriff” emblazoned on the side of the SUV, he remembered the “Sleepy Hollow” TV pilot being fined in the area.

The pilot, which is being made by 20th Century Fox, began filming Monday night in downtown Salisbury.

Smitley noted that Diederich smelled of alcohol and asked if he was intoxicated. Diederich admitted he had been drinking. The deputy asked why he was speeding. Diederich told the deputy the vehicle was a “movie prop car and he was taking it home,” the report said.

The report didn’t say how Diederich got the vehicle or describe his connection to the production. The “employment” field on the report was left blank.

The driver had red, glassy eyes. He failed a field sobriety test and the deputy reported Diederich’s blood alcohol content was a 0.14. He was tested again later at the Rowan Sheriff’s Office and had a 0.11 blood alcohol content, the report said.

Diederich was driving with a revoked license.

Once at the Rowan County Magistrate’s Office, Diederich was released into his wife’s custody. He is expected in court April 19.

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