A desperate local man is accused of leading officers on a nighttime car chase and, once his own car was disabled, stealing a patrol car and crashing into another patrol car, injuring an officer, before fleeing on foot in a churchyard and being apprehended a short distance away.
On Friday, December 17, 2021, at approximately 2:30 a.m. Alexander County Sheriff’s Office deputies observed a blue Ford Explorer traveling through the Town of Taylorsville at a high rate of speed. The suspect vehicle then ran a stop sign, continuing to travel west on NC Hwy. 90, according to Sheriff Chris Bowman.
Deputies, along with officers from the Taylorsville Police Department, began chasing the suspect on NC Hwy. 64 West. The suspect turned left, traveling south on NC Hwy. 127. Another deputy responded and placed “stop sticks” at Antioch Church Road and NC Hwy. 127. The “stop sticks” were successful. The vehicle traveled west on Antioch Church Road where the suspect vehicle was disabled.
The suspect exited his vehicle and came towards the deputy in a very aggressive manner. The deputy exited his vehicle and began giving verbal commands for him to stop and get on the ground. The suspect did not comply with the deputies’ orders and continued to approach the deputy. The suspect gained access to the deputy’s vehicle and stole it, said Bowman.
At that point, the deputy discharged his service weapon in an attempt to stop the threat created by the suspect having access to county-issued weapons inside the vehicle. The suspect continued fleeing in the patrol vehicle approximately half a mile, with other deputies still in pursuit. The suspect turned into the parking at Antioch Baptist Church and back out onto the roadway, traveling east on Antioch Church Road. The suspect drove into the westbound lane, ramming into a pursuing deputy vehicle. This action disabled both the patrol car he stole and the pursuing deputy’s patrol car.
The suspect exited the stolen patrol vehicle, while other law enforcement officers arrived on scene and began giving verbal commands. The suspect failed to comply with commands from law enforcement. Tasers were deployed but were unsuccessful.
The suspect began to flee on foot through the graveyard of Antioch Baptist Church. Deputies began to chase the subject on foot, but realized the deputy involved in the ramming of his patrol car collapsed to the ground with a head injury. While deputies aided the collapsed officer, officers with the Taylorsville Police Department continued pursuing the suspect. The suspect was apprehended a short distance later.
The injured deputy was transported by Alexander County EMS to a local hospital in Catawba County with non-life threatening injuries.
Suspect is identified as Tony Timothy Martin, said Sheriff Bowman. He is a white male, age 35, of Taylorsville.
Tony Timothy Martin was charged with felony Flee/Elude Arrest with Motor Vehicle; felony Larceny of a Motor Vehicle; felony Assault with Deadly Weapon on Law Enforcement Officer; felony Assault with a Deadly Weapon Inflicting Serious Injury; four counts of misdemeanor Resist/Obstruct/Delay; two counts of felony Injury to Personal Property; and numerous traffic offenses.
This investigation is still ongoing by both Alexander County Sheriff Office and North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.
Sheriff Chris Bowman would like to thank Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office, Catawba County Sheriff’s Office, North Carolina State Highway Patrol, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, and the Taylorsville Police Department for their assistance.