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

  • Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 12:41 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.
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.

SALISBURY — Authorities say a China Grove man had too much to drink Saturday then took a prop car from the TV pilot being filmed here for a little ride.

A location manager with the production said she didn’t know how the man got the vehicle in the first place.

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 Lt. Gene Smitley was on patrol around 8 p.m. along N.C. 152 when a Chevy Tahoe heading 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.

Smitley caught up to the SUV when it 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 filmed 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, if any, to the production. The “employment” field on the report was left blank.

Kathy Berry, a location manager for “Sleepy Hollow” said she was unaware that one of the “picture cars” had been involved in a traffic stop.

Berry searched the crew roster and did not find Diederich listed. Although filming began Monday, the cars were delivered to a transportation holding location on Saturday, Berry said.

A Post reporter contacted the number listed for Diederich on the department report. The number is for Performance Parts Plus and Camera Ready Cars, a Mooresville business.

A message left at that number had not been returned Tuesday evening.

Smitley reported that Diederich failed a field sobriety test and had blood alcohol content of 0.14. He was tested again later at the Rowan Sheriff’s Office and had a 0.11 blood alcohol content, the report said.

The legal limit is 0.08.

Diederich was driving with a revoked license.

Diederich was released into his wife’s custody. He is due in court April 19.

Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.

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