Company recognizes Rowan County Sheriff’s Office for use of tire-deflation device

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 1, 2020

By Shavonne Potts

SALISBURY — The company that manufactures Stop Sticks, a tire-deflation device sometimes used during high-speed pursuits, has recognized the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office for a stop the agency conducted earlier this year.

Each time the devices are deployed, the agency sends a report to the company to let them know about how it was used, said Rowan County Sheriff’s Capt. John Sifford.

In January, the sheriff’s office used Stop Sticks six times, but it was a Jan. 30 chase that the Ohio-based company highlighted on its website and noted that deputies who conducted the chase are its “Hit of the Month.”

The chase began after Iredell County Sheriff’s Office began pursuing a Ford Excursion driven by Johnny Lee Fore after the driver pulled a gun on someone during a drug transaction.

The chase led into Rowan County on N.C. 152, toward China Grove — where a China Grove officer became involved in the pursuit. The chase wound up in Kannapolis, then into Cabarrus County and back to Rowan County.

The Rowan deputies deployed the Stop Sticks a few miles north of Kannapolis’ Lane Street exit and were able to deflate three of the four tires on the vehicle. The driver, later identified as Fore, eventually pulled over and surrendered to officers. A passenger admitted to tossing methamphetamine in their possession.

Sifford said the sheriff’s office considers the incident a successful arrest through the use of the Stop Sticks.

In January, Rowan County was among four other state agencies recognized for its Stop Stick deployment. The agency was also recognized for a Stop Stick deployment on Jan. 18 as well for a vehicle theft that turned into a chase.