Suspicious person call leads Rowan deputies to drug arrest

Published 3:43 pm Friday, March 22, 2019

By Shavonne Walker

CHINA GROVE — A South Carolina man faces felony drug possession charges after he arrived at a church parking lot to give someone a ride.

Authorities were called about a suspicious person at Corriher Heights Baptist Church, according to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office. The Gaffney, S.C., man told authorities he was there to give that man a ride.

The Sheriff’s Office charged Justin William Cash, 35, of the 100 block of Lenora Drive in Gaffney, with felony possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver a Schedule II controlled substance.

About 7 a.m. Wednesday, a caller told authorities he saw a suspicious person looking in the windows of the church, at 1980 N.C. 153 in China Grove. A deputy found a man standing outside the church. He was wearing a hooded sweatshirt covering his head and had three backpacks with him.

The man told the deputy his name was Wilson Langdon White and he was waiting for a ride. The deputy asked whether he had weapons and was given a fixed-blade hunting knife, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The deputy unsuccessfully searched for the name Wilson White in the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles records. When the deputy told the man he couldn’t find him listed, the man said he had given the wrong birth month and blamed the misinformation on being cold, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office said the man eventually told the deputy he didn’t have a driver’s license and that Wilson White is his brother’s name.

Next, Cash, who was driving a black Toyota, arrived and said he was there to pick up the man, the Sheriff’s Office said. When the deputy asked who the man was, Cash told the officer he didn’t know his name. He told the deputy he met the man on Grindr, a dating app.

The unidentified man later told the deputy his name is Noel and attempted to run when the deputy tried to detain him, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The man pulled away when the officer grabbed his wrist, and they both fell to the ground. The man then ran away, knocking the officer’s body camera and radio microphone and injuring the officer’s knee, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The deputy chased the man and lost sight of him. A K-9 unit was brought in to track the man but did not find him.

The deputy had placed a backpack in his patrol car and took Cash’s car keys. A report said 4 grams of methamphetamine was found in the vehicle.

The K-9 unit searched around Cash’s vehicle and smelled crystal methamphetamine in a briefcase in the back seat of the car, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Cash said the briefcase belongs to him. Deputies also found a book bag containing a vial of a crystal substance and a glass smoking pipe.

A CD case also contained the same crystal-like substance and a glass smoking pipe, syringes and a digital scale. Another book bag had four cans of Busch beer inside.

Cash refused to provide the name of the man who ran from the church.

Cash was released from the Rowan County Detention Center under a $2,000 secured bond.