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Groom-to-be says he was attacked while pondering impending marriage

By Shavonne Walker

shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — A man who says he was taking a drive to think about his impending marriage says he was pepper-sprayed and his car was set on fire on Stokes Ferry Road.

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office and Fire Marshal’s Office are looking into the Saturday morning incident.

Sheriff’s officials said Michael Stubbs, 43, is planning to get married soon. He drove to the area of the 17100 block of Stokes Ferry Road about 3:30 a.m. Saturday to think, he told investigators. He said he was tired so he pulled to the side of the road to rest his eyes.

He said two men came up to him and pepper-sprayed him through his open vehicle window. He said when he got out of the car, he rolled down a hill and into nearby water. While he rinsed his eyes, he heard two men talking.

According to a report, one man said the vehicle wouldn’t start and the other said they needed to leave.

Stubbs said he couldn’t see but heard the men leave in an older sounding car. He made his way back to the road and found that his car had been set on fire.

He walked eastward to find help, then circled back toward the burning car. A man pulled over to let Stubbs call 911, he told authorities, but the person did not wait.

Firefighters extinguished the fire, and the Rowan County Fire Marshal’s Office was contacted.

Stubbs’ wallet and cellphone were inside the vehicle, along with a gas tank that he intended to use the next day while mowing grass, Stubbs told authorities.

The vehicle was towed by Patriot’s Towing, and the investigation continues, officials said Monday.

Stubbs has created a GoFundMe page on which he says he works two hours from home and has no car or work boots because of the fire. Some tools and other items were destroyed, he says.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

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