Authorities up bonds, pile on charges for accused vandals
By Nathan Hardin
SALISBURY — China Grove Police piled on the charges for two accused vandals arrested at a South Main Street motel last week.
Bryan Matthew Balser and Daniel Tyler Huneycutt were taken into custody after reports of suspicious activity at a Miller Motel room on March 29. China Grove Police officer Nina Stillwell said the two men were carrying concealed firearms and drugs were also found.
After checking a state-wide database, authorities found Balser was wanted on charges of vandalism to churches in Rowan, Stanly and Anson counties in 2011.
Now police believe they were involved in a lot more.
Officers served 19-year-old Huneycutt with 45 additional felony charges on March 30. The Anson County Sheriff’s Office also charged Huneycutt with breaking into Cedar Hill AME Zion Church in Wadesboro.
Huneycutt was charged with 17 counts of felony burglary, 13 counts of felony larceny, two counts of larceny of a firearm and 13 counts of felony possession of stolen goods.
From Anson County, he was charged with felony breaking and entering, felony larceny and felony arson of a religious building.
Authorities found a partially burned cross, hate speech, racial slurs and satanic symbols spray-painted on the church’s doors in November.
Rowan County authorities believe the vandalism happened about the same time that Organ Lutheran Church was found with similar graffiti and the Warrior Golf Course was vandalized.
Huneycutt’s friend, Bryan Balser, was the primary suspect during the investigation.
Warrants had been obtained in the case for Balser, and police believed at least one other was involved, according to a detective at the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.
DNA swabs were taken from the spray-paint lids and sent to the SBI for analysis.
China Grove Police added 33 felony charges for 21-year-old Balser on March 30.
He was charged with 17 counts of felony burglary, 13 counts of felony larceny, two counts of felony larceny of a firearm and felony possession of stolen goods.
Balser was initially charged with three counts of felony breaking and entering, two counts of felony injury to buildings, misdemeanor injury to buildings, two counts of failing to appear in court, carrying a concealed gun and misdemeanor injury to personal property.
Inside the Miller Motel room, police said they found a rifle, hydrocodone, marijuana and two stolen pistols.
Balser was in jail Wednesday under a $1,067,500 bond. Huneycutt also remained in jail under a $1,020,000 bond.
Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.
SALISBURY — They graduated from the same high school. They grew up about 10 miles apart and can tell you... read more