Authorities seek van driver who may have information in trooper assault

Published 4:57 pm Tuesday, January 26, 2016

By Shavonne Walker

Rowan investigators say they want to talk to the driver of a van shown in surveillance video sometime around the time a trooper was intentionally hit with an all-terrain vehicle.

Trooper Robert Charubini responded Saturday around 2 a.m. to an area off N.C. 153 after there were complaints of people riding ATVS in the roadway. The trooper flashed his lights and turned on his siren in order to get two ATV riders to stop.

Charubini got out to warn the riders about riding in the road when one of them sped toward the trooper and ran him over. The ATV rider turned around and attempted to run the trooper over again.

Charubini fired his service weapon three times, but did not strike the driver. The trooper’s lower leg was broken when the ATV struck him, and he had a cut to his chin.

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident, and officials said Tuesday they would like to speak with the driver of the van in hopes that he or she may be able to help identify the ATV riders.

Investigators obtained surveillance video near the intersection of Main Street in Landis and N.C. 153 that shows both four-wheelers and a white colored van traveling behind the ATVs.

The North Carolina Troopers Association is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the two ATV riders involved.

Enochville Community Watch created a Go Fund Me fundraising page in hopes of raising money that would add to the reward. The message posted on the site says if the money goes unclaimed, it will be given to the trooper for his medical expenses or donated to the Salisbury-Rowan Crime Stoppers.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Lt. Chad Moose at 704-216-8687 or Detective Nate Phillips at 704-216-8684.