Identity and charges revealed in weekend police chase, wreck that left one man in hospital

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 10, 2024

ROCKWELL — Police have revealed the name of the man injured when he was ejected from his vehicle after allegedly leading them on chase through Eastern Rowan County on Saturday.

The man was identified as 50-year-old William Foster Wells Jr. by Rockwell Police Chief Cody Trexler on Thursday. As of Thursday, Wells is still in the hospital due to the injuries he suffered in the crash, but Trexler said that Wells is in stable condition and is expected to recover.

Officers have charges pending against Wells for felony flee to elude and are expected to ask for more charges in the near future, Trexler said. The additional charges are reportedly in relation to a search warrant effected upon Wells’ vehicle and evidence that was recovered.

Wells was not the only living thing in the vehicle when it crashed, Trexler said. There was also a dog in the car that was ejected from the vehicle at some point during the incident, but was uninjured. The dog was recovered on scene by a family member after Wells allegedly confirmed to officers that it was his pet. Due to the presence of the dog, Trexler said that police are also considering charging Wells with cruelty to animals.

Wells was injured after a Rockwell police officer reportedly clocked him driving over 100 mph along U.S. Highway 52 in downtown Rockwell at approximately 8:30 p.m. on Saturday. The officer attempted to stop Wells, at which point Wells led him on a chase that ended when he crashed on Wyatt Grove Church Road near the Stokes Ferry Road intersection. 

This is the second time Wells has been charged after being injured following a crash. Wells was convicted of misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon and misdemeanor willful or wanton injury to real property in relation to an incident on July 30, 2023. After that incident, police said that Wells was shot twice when he crashed his truck into a mobile home and attempted to assault both the owner of that mobile home and another nearby. When he approached a third mobile home, the resident warned Wells not to come any closer before shooting him with a .45-caliber handgun, according to previous Salisbury Post reporting.