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Charlotte man faces additional charges after weekend I-85 chase

SALISBURY — A Charlotte man who took Rowan Sheriff’s deputies on a vehicle chase in a stolen vehicle faces an additional charge by Salisbury Police.

James Nickerson, 22, of the 2600 block of West Arrowood Road, was originally charged Saturday by the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office with felony fleeing to elude arrest, reckless driving to endanger, and assault on emergency personnel with a deadly weapon.

Salisbury Police also charged Nickerson will motor vehicle theft, fleeing to elude arrest and hit and run property damage.

The incident began at 9:30 a.m. with a be on the lookout bulletin from Rowan 911 Communications for a gold Ford Focus that had just been stolen and was in the area of Faith Road and Jake Alexander Boulevard, according to Capt. John Sifford.

Two Sheriff’s deputies were East Innes Street, near Bendix Drive as the vehicle being sought was traveling on Bendix Drive. Lt. Burleyson turned onto Bendix Drive with the stolen vehicle headed toward his patrol vehicle.

In an attempt to avoid two Salisbury Police vehicles, the suspect swerved in the direction of the deputy’s patrol car causing Deputy Burleyson to maneuver away from the suspect vehicle to avoid being struck.

Salisbury Police officers turned on their lights and siren in an attempt to stop the vehicle. The driver continued onto Bendix Drive and eventually took the exit ramp and headed south on Interstate 85.

Salisbury Police officers continued to follow the vehicle until the stolen vehicle left city limits. According to Sifford, the sheriff’s deputies began to lead the vehicle pursuit.

Additional county officers responded to the area in an attempt to clear the travel lanes on I-85 for stop stick deployment.

Deputy Davis was set up at the China Grove exit with stop sticks and deployed them as the chase approached. The driver allegedly swerved toward Deputy Davis causing him to jump in front of his vehicle to avoid being struck.

Sifford said, the stop sticks were only effective on the back driver’s side tire and the vehicle continued south on I-85. Additional stop sticks were set up at Old Beatty Ford Road and the Lane Street exits in an attempt to take out the remaining tires.

A Salisbury Police patrol vehicle was disabled when the stop sticks were deployed and the driver was unable to avoid hitting the sticks.

As the pursuit reached the Lane Street exit, the driver of the vehicle abruptly pulled to the side of the interstate. Sgt. Rowland and Lt. Burleyson took the driver into custody.

Sifford said a 15-year-old girl was in the stolen car.

Nickerson remains in the Rowan County Detention Center under a $150,000 secured bond.

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