• 2 in custody after chase in Belmont, police say

    By: Andrew Doud


    BELMONT, N.C. - Police say that a spot in Belmont is a hotbed for drug activity.

    Monday night, during an undercover investigation, police saw one of two suspects they were searching for come out of a hotel room. When they tried to stop the car that the suspect was in, the driver took off.

    Police said that Mary Jo Armitage was behind the wheel. Armitage refused to stop and led police on a chase through parts of Gaston County into west Mecklenburg County reaching nearly 100 mph.

    Brandon Ayers was in the car with Armitage, and eventually the car came to a dead end.

    "They slowed down to about 20 miles per hour and the passenger and driver both jumped out of different sides of the vehicle. One ran right, one ran left. It took about 30 minutes to apprehend them both," said Capt. Mike Ward.

    Police has to call in a K-9 unit to find the pair. A hazmat crew was called when the police found what they describes as a suspicious clear liquid that turned out to be moonshine.

    Channel 9 stopped by the hotel's office where the incident began, the woman who answered did not want to go on the camera, but police say they are in that area of Belmont several days a week due to drug activity.

    According the jail website, the incident is the ninth time since March of 2010 that Ayers has been arrested.

    Police said that Ayers has not been on their radar very long, but he did have several probation violations he was wanted for. Both suspects are now in jail under more than $25,000 bond in Gaston County.

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