Two jailed, two Rowan County sheriff’s deputies injured in high-speed chase

Published 10:29 am Wednesday, November 17, 2021

SALISBURY — Two people were jailed, a sheriff’s deputy was dragged for 50 feet and another lost a ring finger Tuesday during a chase that started at a Food Lion on Statesville Boulevard.

Jeffrey Wayne Massey, 49, of Rockwell faces seven counts of assault on a government official with a deadly weapon, felony flee to elude, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia. He has a criminal history that includes serving time in prison for second-degree murder in Davidson County.

Michelle Lynn Hamby, 46, faces two counts of assault on a government official, felony possession of crystal methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and aiding someone fleeing arrest.

The chase started around 11 p.m. Tuesday when Sgt. J. Naves and deputy J. Lutz pulled into the rear parking lot area of the Food Lion at 2104 Statesville Blvd. and observed a rented 2021 Volkswagen Passat turn on its headlights and drive away. An incident report states there were no registration plate lights on the vehicle and it wasn’t possible to read the license plate.

The deputies stopped the Passat, driven by Massey, behind the Food Lion store on Holly Avenue. The incident report states Massey’s vehicle dragged Lutz about 50 feet as it fled the scene of the stop. Lutz received injuries to his head, knuckles, wrists, fingers, elbows, knees, right ankle and right shoulder.

While an incident report doesn’t specify the route of the chase, the pursuit reached speeds higher than 120 mph, lasted 20 minutes and covered more than 20 miles. Massey is accused of passing vehicles in the opposite lane of travel and failing to heed stop signs or traffic lights. The report states occupants of the vehicle, Massey and Hamby, tossed items out of the Passat in an attempt to slow sheriff’s deputies down and drove directly at deputies during the chase.

Highway Patrol troopers used spike strips on the Passat. Naves performed three PIT maneuvers, which aims to abruptly turn a car sideways. The last one was successful.

As law enforcement officers forced Massey to the ground, deputy K. Peoples’ left ring finger was amputated. An incident report doesn’t provide details about how the finger was amputated.

Massey and Hamby as well as the two injured deputies were transported to Rowan Medical Center for tests and observation after the chase. All four were released.

Massey remained in jail Wednesday with a bond of more than $1 million. Hamby remained in jail with a $25,000 bond.

Chief Deputy David Ramsey on Wednesday said the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office received information prior to the chase that Massey intended to try and commit “suicide by cop.”