Rockwell motorcyclist takes deputy on high speed chase, strikes patrol car

Published 12:04 pm Thursday, November 16, 2017

SALISBURY — A Rockwell motorcyclist led a Rowan County sheriff’s deputy on a high-speed chase after an attempted traffic stop and crashed into a patrol vehicle, officials said.

A Rowan deputy tried to stop the 2002 Suzuki motorcycle about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday on N.C. 152, near the Carson High School entrance. Deputy Benfield checked the motorcycle’s license plate and found that the operator was wanted on outstanding warrants.

Officials said one warrant was from Wilkes County for drug charges and another warrant was from Watauga County for traffic charges.

Once Benfield stopped the motorcycle and got out of his vehicle to talk to the motorcycle operator, the motorcyclist took off traveling east on N.C. 152. The deputy pursued the motorcycle, which then turned onto Castor Road.

At the intersection of Castor and Rimer roads, Deputy Shoemaker blocked the roadway, officials reported.

The motorcycle, which was driven by Willie Joe Ashby, struck Shoemaker’s vehicle, and Ashby lost control of his motorcycle.

Ashby, 38, of 1050 Middle Road, Rockwell, was taken to NorthEast Medical Center by Rowan County EMS. He was treated and released from the hospital for an ankle injury.

Upon his release, Ashby was arrested by the Concord Police Department on warrants taken out by Rowan County sheriff’s Deputy Benfield.

Ashby was charged with felony speeding to elude arrest, driving while license revoked, simple possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, expired registration, and having no insurance.

Concord police placed Ashby in the Cabarrus County Jail under a $10,000 secured bond.