Pictured above: James Nickerson – Picture courtesy of the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office
On 01/04/2020, at approximately 0930 hrs., Rowan Communications gave out a BOLO regarding a gold Ford Focus that had just been stolen and was in the area of Faith Rd. and Jake Alexander Blvd. At the time of the BOLO, Sheriff’s Lt. Burleyson was on Innes St., near Bendix Drive. Communications then gave out an update which advised the vehicle was now traveling on Bendix Dr. Lt. Burleyson turned on Bendix, and located the vehicle traveling toward his patrol vehicle. In an attempt to avoid two Salisbury PD vehicles, the suspect swerved in the direction of the Sheriff’s patrol car causing Lt. Burleyson to maneuver away from the suspect vehicle to avoid being struck. Salisbury Police then activated their emergency equipment and attempted a vehicle stop. The vehicle continued on Bendix Dr., and eventually took the I-85 ramp, heading south on 85. Salisbury PD continued to follow the vehicle with emergency equipment activated.
As the chase left Salisbury City limits, Salisbury PD Officers requested that Sheriff’s units take over the pursuit lead. Additional county units 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 suspect vehicle then swerved toward Deputy Davis causing him to jump in front of his vehicle to avoid being struck. The stop sticks were only effective on the back driver side tire, and the vehicle continued south on I-85. Additional stop sticks were set at Old Beatty Ford Rd. and the Lane St. exits in an attempt to take down the remaining tires. During one of the stop stick attempts a Salisbury vehicle was disabled after he was unable to avoid the hitting the sticks.
As the chase approached the Lane St. exit, the vehicle abruptly pulled to the side of the interstate. Sgt. Rowland and Lt. Burleyson then conducted a felony vehicle stop and took the driver into custody. He was identified as 22 year old James Nickerson of 2660 W. Arrowood Rd. Charlotte. There was also a 15 year old female passenger in the stolen car.
Rowan County Sheriff’s Office charges consisted of Fleeing to Elude, Reckless Driving to Endanger, and Assault on Emergency Personnel with a Deadly Weapon. He was placed in the Rowan County Detention Center under a $75,000 secured bond.
Nickerson will also face additional charges from Salisbury Police.
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