Rowan County authorities: Man arrested on drug charges after found unconscious in car

Published 5:58 pm Thursday, September 21, 2017

By Shavonne Walker

SALISBURY — A Salisbury man was found unconscious in his car and holding a syringe containing heroin residue, authorities said Thursday.

The man faces misdemeanor charges for having drug paraphernalia and other offenses.

Rowan County authorities responded just before 2 p.m. Monday to the intersection of Pool Road and Ranchwood Drive, where they found a man and woman unconscious in a gray Saturn. The deputy noted the vehicle had a picture of a license plate in the back window.

The woman, later identified as Cassie Coble, woke up when the deputy knocked on the window. She repeatedly tried to wake the man, who was identified as 25-year-old Tennessee James Powell.

Powell, of the 500 block of Squirrel Run, was charged with parole violation, possession of drug paraphernalia, displaying a fictitious registration plate and no insurance.

He had a syringe that contained a brown residue in his hand, authorities said. Another syringe was found lying near the armrest and Coble’s right left. Deputies searched the car and found a third syringe.

Powell refused to obey the deputy’s commands to get out of the vehicle and had to be removed from the vehicle at gunpoint. Both Coble and Powell said they needed medical attention, but Powell refused care when an ambulance arrived so the ambulance left, said sheriff’s Capt. John Sifford.

Authorities said Powell admitted that the syringes belonged to him and that they contained heroin residue. While on the way to the Sheriff’s Office, Powell told the deputy he was going to vomit and the deputy pulled over at the corner of Avalon Drive and Stokes Ferry Road.

After a few moments, Powell passed out and the deputy worked to revive him. A Rowan County emergency crew was called in. Powell stopped breathing, and the deputy administered CPR. He regained consciousness, but before the EMS team arrived he was unconscious again. The deputy gave Powell 10 more chest compressions and he became alert and was talking, a report said.

Powell was taken to Novant Health Rowan Medical Center by ambulance and later released.

Powell remains in the Rowan County Detention Center without bond.

Coble was not charged.

Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.