by: Ken Lemon Updated:
LINCOLN COUNTY, N.C. - A Sherrills Ford man is accused of dragging a Lincoln County officer and spitting on him during a traffic stop Tuesday night.
Deputies said 20-year-old Jake Nelson was driving on Highway 73 when he ran a red light at the intersection of Highway 16 around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.
When a deputy tried to get behind the car, police said Nelson made a quick turn onto South Little Egypt Road at a high rate of speed, nearly losing control. When the deputy tried to get Nelson to pull over, they said he would not stop the car until he came to the dead end of the road.
Authorities said the deputy walked up to the car, but that Nelson refused to roll his window down or get out of the vehicle.
Once Nelson partially rolled down his window, the deputy said he could detect a strong odor of alcohol.
Sgt. J Brown with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office arrived to help and police said when he reached through the window in an attempt to unlock the door and remove Nelson from the car, Nelson put the car into "drive" and started driving off, dragging the officer.
Officials said Brown was dragged about 40 feet.
Officers said Brown hit Nelson several times in an attempt to get him to stop the car but Nelson only stopped once Brown pulled his Taser out.
Nelson was then pulled out of the car but officers said they continued to struggle with him before finally placing handcuffs on him.
Police said Nelson also spit blood on Brown.
Lincoln County Sheriff David Carpenter said "he was very wild… An individual who has done something like he done could have very easily been shot and killed by an officer."
Deputies were stunned to hear Nelson brag to them about being a wrestler at Belmont Abbey College.
Students who knew him were stunned.
"He's just not out to hurt anyone usually," said Jessica Hodge, a student.
Students said he was a very good wrestler for the team last year.
They said he wasn't on the team or around campus this year.
"He's a good kid," Hodge said.
Deputies say when they tried allowed Jake Nelson to make a call, he used the phone to hit an officer's hand.
Deputies said Nelson refused to provide a breath sample and a warrant was issued to draw blood.
Nelson was charged with one felony count each of assault on a government official, assault with a deadly weapon on a law enforcement officer and malicious conduct by a prisoner. He was also charged with one misdemeanor count each of failure to stop at a red light, failure to stop for a blue light and siren, left of center, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of an open container of alcohol, resist, delay and obstruct a public officer, driving while impaired and driving after having consumed a sufficient amount of alcohol.
He was booked into the Lincoln County Jail under an $18,000 secured bond.