Crime and Incident Releases

ps-patch-111x90pxThe Morganton Public Safety Department issues press releases to help keep local media and residents informed of crime and incidents in the City. Crime and incident releases are written and published by Public Safety platoon captains, and managed by the Public Information Officer.

View crime and incident information online at the Public Safety Police to Citizen (P2C) website.

On October 2, 2020 at 3:38 am, Public Safety Officers responded to Speedway Convenient Store located at 900 West Union Street, Morganton for an alarm activation.  The security company reported a male intruder was in the store and moving about the office area. 

Officers arrived to find the store locked and briefly observed the intruder enter the office area then close the door.  After the manager of the store arrived, Officers entered and found the intruder had climbed into the ceiling to conceal his location. 

Officers located the intruder in the ceiling above the office area and took him into custody.  The man was identified as, 32 year old, Johnny Lee.   Lee was found to have cigarettes, lottery tickets, keys, and a variety of gift cards in his pockets belonging to the store. 

Lee was arrested and charged with Misdemeanor Larceny, Resist Obstruct or Delay, and Possession of Stolen Goods. He was placed in the custody of the Burke County Jail under a $10,000 secured bond.  His first court appearance is set for October 30, 2020 in Burke County District Court.  

On Thursday, October 1, 2020, at approximately 1:01 p.m., Morganton Department of Public Safety officers conducted a traffic stop on a block Honda located at The Burke Mission Station at 305 W Union St in reference to a wanted fugitive from Michigan. The stop was made after receiving information from the U.S. Marshalls Carolinas Regional Task Force that Hardin may be at the location. The suspect, James Hardin, pulled across the street to the Shop and Save gas station at 301 W Union St before stopping and was taken into custody. James Paul Hardin DOB 11/09/1979 was wanted from the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department in Michigan for a Criminal Sexual Contact Warrant. Hardin was taken to the magistrate’s office and served with his fugitive warrant. Hardin was then transported to the Burke County Jail and is awaiting extradition back to Michigan.





The identity of the victim in this case is Joseph William Lawrence, DOB 12/08/1972. Mr. Lawrence was living in the RV at different locations in the Morganton area. The cause of the fire has been determined to be accidental in nature due to gasoline vapors from an open gas canister inside the RV being ignited by an open flame source. 


On Tuesday, September 29, 2020, at 7:14 p.m., Morganton Department of Public Safety Officers and Fire Fighters responded to a recreational vehicle (RV/Camper) fire in the parking lot of Walmart located at 120-G Morganton Heights Blvd. When officers arrived on scene the RV was fully engulfed in flames. MDPS firefighters arrived and extinguished the fire from outside of the RV. Entry was made into the RV to check for anyone that may be inside and to extinguish the remainder of the fire. Upon entry into the RV the body of a deceased subject was located inside.  Once the fire was extinguished completely a crime scene was established. MDPS Criminal Investigations Division responded to the scene for further investigation. This case is still under investigation at this time and updates to the case will be provided when they become available.

On Friday September 25, 2020 at approximately 1:57 p.m., MDPS patrol units attempted to stop a silver Ford Fusion on Carolina St after seeing a hand to hand drug transaction from the driver of the vehicle. After the patrol vehicle activated its emergency lights and siren the vehicle fled down Hogan St towards E. Fleming Dr. The vehicle then made a right turn traveling towards S Sterling St. The vehicle then fled down S Sterling St and made a left turn onto Bethel Rd. The vehicle then made a left turn on Forest St and made a turn onto Perry St where the vehicle stopped in front of 113 Perry St. The driver then fled on foot towards the back of 113 Perry St. The driver was captured in the back yard and taken into custody. The driver was identified as Tron Lamon Francis DOB 10/15/1979 of 113 Perry St Morganton, NC. Francis had thrown a black in color bag in the back yard of the home as he was running. The black bag contained a set of digital scales along with several bags crack cocaine, powder cocaine, heroin, and some unknown tablets.

Narcotics Investigators with the Morganton Department of Public Safety responded to the scene to process the evidence and will be handling the investigation.  The vehicle was seized pursuant to the Run and Done law.

Tron Francis was transported to the magistrate’s office where he was charged with the following crimes:

 N.C. G.S 20-141.5, Speeding to elude arrest

N.C.G.S 20-157, Failure to Heed for Light and Siren

N.C.G.S 20-146, Driving Left of Center

N.C.G.S 90-95(h)(3), Trafficking Cocaine

N.C.G.S 90-95(h)(4), Trafficking Heroin

N.C.G.S 20-140, Reckless Driving

N.C.G.S 20-158, Failure to Sop for Red Light

Francis was placed into the Burke County Jail under a $105,000 bond and has an initial court date of September 28, 2020 in Burke County District Court.

On 09-03-20 MDPS officers responded to Rural King when a subject attempted to steal two generators valued at $1800.00. The male was stopped after he made it out the door by management and the property recovered. The male later identified as Vincent Harrison left the area in a white minivan. While PSO Gragg was investigating the larceny from Rural King, officers were dispatched to Walmart about a male and a female stealing items from the store valued at $400.00 and leaving in a white minivan. PSO Gragg noticed that the description of the van matched his call at Rural King. Officers responded to Walmart in an effort to apprehend the two suspects. The vehicle was observed turning onto Golf Course Road and leave at a high rate of speed. MDPS Investigator Dellinger observed the vehicle pass him at a high rate of speed on Hopewell Road, he was unable to catch up to the vehicle. MDPS officers requested assistance from BCSO and NCSHP in the area attempting to locate the vehicle. Upon learning that the van was rented out of Forest City, Rutherford County was notified to be on the look out. Shortly thereafter, officers with NCSHP and Rutherford County Sheriff's Office were able to get the vehicle stopped just inside Rutherford County on US HWY 64. MDPS officers responded, recovered the stolen property which was turned back over to Walmart, and took custody of Vincent Harrison of CC Hoyle Road in Rutherfordton as well as Lashonda Wells of Leach Street in Marion. Both subjects were arrested. Wells was charged with Larceny of Property (misdemeanor) with a court date of 10/29/20 and a five thousand dollar bond. Harrison was charged with Felony Larceny from Rural King, with a ten thousand dollar bond and a court date of 09/29/20, as well as Larceny of Property (misdemeanor) and Possession of Stolen Goods with a five thousand dollar bond and a court date of 10/29/20 for the Walmart charges.   Assisting agencies: North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Rutherford County Sheriff's Office. 

On August 22nd at approximately 10:20PM, Morganton Public Safety was dispatched to Smoke in the area of US 70, at the intersection of Industrial Blvd. and 219 Reep Dr. First arriving units searched the area trying to track down the origin of the smoke. After several minutes, Firefighters located the smoke coming from a house at 115 Franklin St. More than 50 percent of the house was involved in fire upon arrival of the first engine due on the scene. Power lines were down in the front yard and across the drive way hampering access and suppression efforts of firefighters. Water supply was quickly established and a defensive attacked was ordered originally, to knock the fire down from the outside. The structural integrity of the house was in question by Fire Command due to the amount of fire and length of time it had been burning. After gaining control of the fire, crews was able to enter the house to assure no one was inside the residence.


Duke Power was contacted to respond to disconnect the power to the residence. After investigation it was found that no power was connected to the house. Fire Personnel remained on the scene for approximately 1hour and 40 minutes. No injuries to victims or Fire personnel was found or reported. The fire is still under investigation by Morganton Public Safety fire investigators. It appears the fire possibly started in the bedroom. The house and contents was a total loss in damages.


Morganton Public Safety Fire Division wants thank everyone within the community for reporting possible hazards and smoke when appropriate. Early notification is the key to preserving property and life.      




On August 20, 2020 at approximately 3:00am, PSO W. Miller observed a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed on Interstate 40. PSO Miller was able to use his RADAR unit to confirm the speed of the vehicle at over 100 miles per hour. PSO Miller began to pursue the vehicle on Interstate 40 until it exited onto Jamestown Road (Exit 100). The vehicle continued onto Reep Drive and then stopped on Carbon City Road. The driver exited the vehicle and fled on foot behind a local business. PSO Miller deployed his K9 Partner, Echo, along with the assistance of other officers from Morganton Public Safety, Glen Alpine Police Department, and the Burke County Sheriff’s Office. The driver was apprehended after a short foot chase and identified as Landon Dale Foster (29). Another female, Madison Renee Gilliland (18), was inside of the vehicle and arrested for possession of a controlled substance. Both Foster and Gilliland will have a first appearance court date on August 21, 2020.



Landon Dale Foster      $65,000 Secured Bond


  • Felony Speed to Elude Arrest

  • Reckless Driving

  • Speeding

  • Driving Left of Center

  • Failure to Maintain Lane Control

  • Resisting Public Officer

  • Stop Sign Violation

  • Red Light Violation

  • Order for Arrest – McDowell County (Probation Violation)



Madison Renee Gilliland    $20,000 Secured Bond


  • Possess with Intent to Manufacture, Sell, Deliver Methamphetamine

  • Possess Controlled Substance on Jail Premises

  • Possess Drug Paraphernalia





On July 28, 2020 Investigators with the Morganton Department of Public Safety arrested Emiya K-Ron Wooten, DOB 07/13/1998 of Morganton, NC, for several burglaries that occurred in the area of Terrace Place from July 15, 2020 to July 26, 2020. Wooten was also charged with crimes for prior burglaries that were committed. Wooten was charged with the following charges:

N.C.G.S 14-51, First Degree Burglary- 2 Counts

N.C.G.S 14-71, Felony Possession of Stolen Goods

N.C.G.S 14-39, Second Degree Kidnapping

There are additional pending charges in this case.

Wooten was transported to the Burke County Jail where he was placed under a $100,000 secure bond. Wooten has an initial court appearance on July 30, 2020. Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Inv. Goforth with the Morganton Department of Public Safety at 828-438-5395.

**Updated 07/13/2020**

Richard L. Peterson of Candler, NC died the following day as a result of injuries sustained from the incident.  Morganton Public Safety Investigators are continuing the investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Peterson's death and will consult with the district attorney's office when the investigation is completed.


On Friday July 10th, 2020 around 2:20 pm,  Morganton Public Safety responded to the area of Jamestown Road and Exit 100 Westbound off ramp for a report of a person lying in the roadway. Upon arrival, officers found a male with traumatic injuries being tended to by witnesses. Burke County EMS was also on scene and quickly transported the victim to CHS Morganton to be airlifted. The victim's name is being withheld pending notification of his family. Initial information from witnesses and dash cam video suggests this may be some type of a road-rage incident that led to an assault. The other driver involved that initially fled the scene has been identified and is cooperating with law enforcement. More information will be released at a later time. If anyone witnessed this incident that did not initially speak with officers on scene, please contact Morganton Department of Public Safety at 828-437-1911.


On July 7, 2020 Morganton Public Safety took a report of a runaway juvenile.  Further investigation revealed an additional runaway juvenile.  Through the cooperative efforts of the Burke County Emergency Communications Center, Houston County Sheriff’s Office (Georgia), and Morganton Public Safety Officers, the two juveniles were safely located by Houston County Sheriff’s Deputies in Georgia.  Bryan Luis Inocencio Febres, 30 years old, of Morganton and Michael Angelo-Linares Rodriguez, 21 years old, of Morganton have been charged by Morganton Public Safety with N.C.G.S 14-41, Felony Abduction of Children, and are currently awaiting extradition back to North Carolina.  Further charges are pending in this case.

On Monday July 6, 2020 at approximately 4:00 a.m., Officers with the Morganton Department of Public Safety responded to a burglary and armed robbery that occurred at 302 Hopewell Rd. The victims advised that were asleep when they heard their bedroom door being kicked open. The victims stated there were two suspects with firearms. The suspects demanded property and money from the victims. The suspects was described by the victims as a tall skinny black male and a short black male.

If you have any information about this case please contact Investigator Goforth with Morganton Public Safety at 828-438-5395.

On June 19, 2020 at 10:34pm, Officer with the Morganton Department of Public Safety were dispatched to 209 Herron Street in reference to a burglary. The victim in this case reported a male had entered his residence through a window and fled the scene after being confronted by the home owner. After an extensive search of the area, officers were unable to locate any suspects. Approximately 90 minutes later (June 20, 2020 at 12:04am), Officers with the Morganton Department of Public Safety were dispatched to 108 Lyman Court in reference to an armed robbery and burglary. Upon arrival, the victim was able to inform officers that a male had broken into his residence and held him at knifepoint until he gave him his cell phone and cash. The male then left the residence. Officers and Investigators canvassed the area and located Emiya K-Ron Wooten, 21, of 107 Lytle Street walking near the scene. Wooten matched the description from both victims in this case. Upon further investigation, numerous items of clothing matching the description of the suspect and property from one of the crime scenes were located at Wooten’s residence and seized by investigators. Wooten was arrested and charged with the following:

-          - First Degree Burglary (F)

-          - Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon (F)

Wooten received a $100,000 bond and will have a court date set for June 22, 2020

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On Thursday morning around 11:38, officers responded to a single vehicle collision on Walker Road near Burkemont Avenue.  First arriving units observed a male lying in the yard of 117 Walker Road.  The single occupant of the motorcycle was identified as Sammy Allen Moody Jr of Morganton.  Members of Morganton Department of Public Safety and Burke County EMS performed CPR on Moody. Moody was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.  Morganton Department of Public Safety will be investigating the crash further.

On 06/03/2020 at 1:10 officers with Morganton Department of Public Safety responded to Walmart located at 120-G Morganton Heights Blvd in reference to a man with a gun.  It was reported that a customer was threatening to shoot people inside the store.  Once officers arrived they detained one male until the scene was considered clear and safe.  It was later determined that two customers had a verbal altercation and no crime or assault took place.  One subject did not wish to be identified and left the scene as officers were arriving.  Walmart banned several individuals who were involved in the incident prior to officers clearing the call. 

On Monday May 25th around 3pm, Morganton Public Safety was dispatched to a water rescue along the Catawba River. Once on scene it was determined that a kayaker had fallen out of their kayak in the fast moving river and was in distress, in addition to two other people with them. Shortly after the original dispatch, the caller told Burke County Communication Center that another person trying to rescue the kayaker and their passengers were also stuck in the water and needed help. Crews stationed themselves along the river strategically to locate the four people, communicate with them, and begin the rescue process. They were located on the banks of the river hanging on to trees to avoid being swept away in the current. With the coordination and help from Burke County EMS, Burke County Communication Center, Burke County Rescue Squad, fire and police personnel from MDPS and Burke County Emergency Management, all four people were quickly assisted to safety, removed from the water and evaluated by medical personnel. MDPS reminds outdoor enthusiasts to monitor water levels and conditions before boating and kayaking to avoid potentially dangerous situations made by rising water levels.


On May 18th at approximately 6:12PM, Morganton Public Safety was dispatched to a possible structure Fire at 211 Summit St. First arriving units advised there was smoke showing from a single story residence confirming there was a working fire. Upon arrival of Morganton Engine 3, two hand lines were deployed to begin suppression operations. The second due truck was ordered to establish the water supply. Upon crews entering the residence they found fire in the kitchen. The fire was quickly knocked down reducing extension into other parts of the structure. Fire Fighters quickly sweep the house searching for any victims possibly remaining in the residence.


City of Morganton Electric Department personnel were contacted to respond to turn-off the power to the residence. Fire Personnel remained on the scene for approximately 1hour and 15 minutes. No injuries to victims or Fire personnel was found or reported. The fire is still under investigation by Morganton Public Safety fire investigators. It appears the fire is accidental at this time, possibly starting in the kitchen on a cooking stove. Damages are estimated around 13,000 dollars.


Morganton Public Safety Fire Division wants to remind everyone to maintain proper clearances around all cooking appliances and never leave a stove unattended while cooking.     

On April 30, 2020, Investigators with the Morganton Department of Public Safety received a report from the Burke County Department of Social Services, Child Protective Services, which stated that a juvenile had been taken to Carolinas Health Care Systems Blue Ridge with serious injuries.  The juvenile was transported to Levin Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, where the juvenile was determined to have multiple injuries constant with the juvenile being shaken.

David Allen Proctor, D.O.B. 11/12/1987, of 119 C Myrtle St. Morganton, NC was charged with N.C.G.S. 14-814.4(A3), Felony Child Abuse: A parent or any other person providing care to or supervision of a child less than 16 years of age who intentionally inflicts any serious bodily injury to the child or who intentionally commits an assault upon the child which results in any serious bodily injury to the child, or which results in permanent or protracted loss or impairment of any mental or emotional function of the child. This charge is a Class B2 felony.

Proctor was placed into the Burke County Jail under a $100,000 secure bond. Proctor has an initial court appearance on May 8, 2020.

On May 3, 2020 at 10:46 pm, Officers with Morganton Public Safety responded to 511 East Union Street for a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  It was reported, 24 year old Jacob Peele, accidentally discharged a firearm striking him in the mouth. 

Officers recovered a revolver from the scene and ammunition. 

The victim was transported to Carolina Health Care System Main in Charlotte and was in stable condition.  Investigators with Morganton Public Safety are looking into the matter and the investigation is ongoing. 


On 04-01-2020 officers responded to a disturbance call at 312 White Apt-C involving Dawson L. Hicks (W/M 03-18-1999) Dispatch advised officers that Hicks was destroying the inside of the residence. The officer responding to this address knew that Hicks has a violent past (attempted suicide with a firearm, assault on law enforcement kicking an officer in the face while serving an involuntary commitment, and domestic violence charges). When officers arrived at this location officers came into to contact with Hicks who was intoxicated and had assaulted his 73 year old grandmother Betty Hudson. Ms. Hudson advised that Hicks was drunk and he was throwing her around. (Ms. Hudson suffered from several broken bones in her arm). While officers were inside the residence Susie Hicks, Dawson’s mother advised “He needs to go to jail”. PSO Gates had Hicks step outside on the concrete porch where he had him to sit down in a rocking chair. Hicks stood up and got in PSO Gates’ face. PSO Gates pushed Hicks back down in the rocking chair at this point Hicks jumped up and started kicking and assaulting PSO Gates. PSO Gates grabbed ahold of Hicks to keep from being assaulted. During this encounter PSO Gates and the suspect fell into the doorway and on the concrete porch. PSO Gates struck his head on the metal door frame and both of his knees struck the concrete. While on the ground Hicks grabbed ahold of PSO Gates’ gun belt but PSO Gates was able to get Hicks’ hand off of his gun belt. Hicks then spit on PSO Gates and it landed on PSO Gates left shoulder and face area. PSO Gates and Rivera held the suspect down until other officers arrived on scene and helped secure him. Burke EMS was called to the scene to evaluate the grandmother (Ms. Hudson) and PSO Gates. Ms. Hudson was transported to the hospital by her daughter Susie Hicks. PSO Gates was transported to the hospital by Burke Co EMS where he was treated and released for minor injuries.   


Dawson Hicks was charged and placed under a $5,000.00 secured bond in the Burke County Jail for the following charges;


Misdemeanor Assault on a female


Misdemeanor Resist, Delay, or Obstruct a Public Officer


Misdemeanor Assault on Government Official



Dawson Hicks was also charged for Felony Assault Inflicting Serious Bodily Injury and placed under a $10,000.00 secured bond. He as a first appearance court date for 4-08-20



Update on February 19, 2020:

Both subjects in this case, Ezra Harold Patton and Kristen Jewel Costner, plead guilty to charges associated with the armed robbery that occurred on May 17, 2019.

On Thursday January 16, 2020, Kristen Jewel Costner plead guilty In Burke County Superior Court to the following charges:

N.C.G.S. 14-3:  Felonious assault with deadly weapon with intent to kill or inflicting serious injury

N.C.G.S. 14-87:  Robbery with firearms or other dangerous weapons

N.C.G.S. 14-32.4:  Assault inflicting serious bodily injury

N.C.G.S. 20-141.5: Speeding to elude arrest

N.C.G.S. 90-95(H): Attempted Trafficking Schedule II

Costner received an active sentence of no less than 89 months in The Department of Public Safety followed by 60 months of probation.

On Monday February 17, 2020, Ezra Harold Patton plead guilty in Burke County Superior Court to the following charges:

N.C.G.S. 14-3:  Felonious assault with deadly weapon with intent to kill or inflicting serious injury

N.C.G.S. 14-87:  Robbery with firearms or other dangerous weapons

N.C.G.S. 14-32.4:  Assault inflicting serious bodily injury

N.C.G.S. 90-95(H): Attempted Trafficking Schedule II

N.C.G.S. 14-34:  Assaulting by pointing gun

N.C.G.S. 90-90(a1): Possession with Intent to Sell, Manufacture, or Deliver Schedule VI


Patton received an active sentence of no less than 103 months in The Department of Public Safety followed by 36 months of probation. 


On May 17, 2019, at 10:41 am, Morganton Public Safety Officers responded to 118 Lenoir Road in reference to reports of a robbery where the caller, Richard Edgardo Hidalgo, was found to be suffering from gunshot wounds to the pelvic region.  Hidalgo reported that Ezra Harold Patton of 5543 White Oaks Drive in Morganton and Kristen Jewel Costner of 7860 Deerfarm Road in Morganton, arrived at his residence where a physical altercation began.


Officers were able to locate the Costner’s vehicle on Bouchelle Street where pursuit ensued.  The pursuit led officers down Bouchelle Street, to Sanford Drive and on to Kirksey Drive. The occupants of the vehicle stopped at the old Star Light Fish Camp on Amherst Rd.  


Officers found the driver, Costner and the passenger, Patton, had life threatening stab wounds to the body.  Both Patton and Costner were transported to CHS Morganton where they were treated for their wounds.  Hidalgo was transported to CHS Morganton, where he was found to have gunshot wounds and a broken jaw.  He was later transported to CHS Charlotte where he continues to receive medical treatment. Officers recovered a firearm that was tossed from the vehicle near Riverview Apartments.


Costner was released on May 19th from CHS Morganton where she was arrested on charges for Felonious Flee to Elude, Reckless Driving to Endanger, and a Stoplight Violation.  Patton was later released from CHS Morganton on May 20, 2019.  


Morganton Public Safety Investigators continue to speak with those involved and follow up on leads. Investigators with the State Bureau of Investigation assisted with the crime scene processing.  Anyone having information regarding this incident should contact Morganton/Burke Crime Stoppers.   

On January 31, 2020, Morganton Deapartment of Public Safety Officers responded to 304 Huffman St. in reference to a suspicious vehicle/check welfare regarding two subjects passed out in a vehicle.  

Officers arrived and were on scene for several minutes before the occupants were able to acknowledge their presence.  The occupants were later identifed to be Jorden Isaiah Moore 01/11/1994 of 304 Huffman St. Morganton NC, and Michelle Beck 09/18/1995 of 2589 Hayes Waters Rd. Morganton NC. 

Jorden Isaiah Moore was in the driver's seat of the vehicle when officers arrivde on scene.  Officers obsered a bag of suspected narcotics in Jorden Moore's lap in plain view.  A probable cause search of the vehicle was conducted and resulted in approximately 8.5 grams of Heroin and related drug paraphernalia.

Jorden Isaiah Moore was arrested and charged with Trafficking in Opium or Heroin and received a $20,000 secure bond.  Moore's has a first appearance court date for the felonious drug charge on 02/03/2020.  Michelle Beck was arrested and charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and received a $1,000 secure bond.  Beck received a court date for her charges on 02/24/2020 in district court.  

Narcotics Investigators with the Morganton Department of Public Safety responded to the scene to process the evidence and will be handling the investigation.  

    Jorden Moore 2                                                    Michelle Beck 2

            Jorden Isaiah Moore                                                                           Michelle Renate Beck

On February 02, 2020 around 6:30 pm, officers responded to a hit and run accident involving a cyclist and dark color truck on Independence Blvd.  When officers arrived on scene they noticed a black Cannondale bicycle lying in the roadway along with the operator of the bike.  The bike was struck from behind by a vehicle traveling on Independence Blvd. towards Carbon City Rd.  The driver of the vehicle did not stop and fled the scene of the wreck.  Burke County EMS assessed the cyclist for injuries and transported him to CHS Morganton.

The truck that struck the cyclist is believed to be dark in color.  Officers were able to recover pieces of this truck that were broken off during the collision.  Officers believe that one of the headlights were broken out as well. 

If you have any information that would assist Morganton Department of Public Safety in locating the driver and owner of this vehicle, please call (828) 437-1211.


On January 20th, around 4:50 am, Morganton Public Safety officers were dispatched to McDonald’s restaurant on West Union Street after a report of a fire that burned a man. It was reported that, while sleeping, the man kicked over a nearby kerosene heater that he used to keep warm overnight and it ignited an area under the bridge nearby. Officers aided the man until Burke County EMS arrived and transported him to the hospital. The man, who was identified as Bennett Deaton, was treated for burns to his arm, hand and side of his face. Deaton's dog, a brown and white pit bull mix that answers to "DJ," reportedly ran from the scene and has not been found as of the time of this report. The fire was extinguished by fire personnel from the Morganton Department of Public Safety. This incident is still under investigation. If anyone locates this dog, do not try to catch it but call Public Safety at 828-437-1211.


At approximately 4:10pm on Friday December 20th a white male suspect entered the Members Credit Union located at 106 E Fleming Dr. Morganton N.C. The white male suspect waited in line and when he approached the teller he gave her a note demanding money. The suspect did not present a weapon. The teller stalled in giving the suspect money.  The suspect then grabbed the note and fled the bank.


A witnessed followed the suspect out of the bank and watched him get into a silver 2 door passenger vehicle with black rims and damage on the driver’s side. The witnessed stated that the suspect drove up S. Sterling St into the downtown area of Morganton.


The suspect acted alone and is describe as white male, dark hair, beard and mustache. He is approximately 5’6” to 5’8”. He was wearing jeans, black shirt, black zip up (sweat suit style) coat, and a black toboggan.


If anyone has and information on this suspect please contact Morganton Public Safety at (828) 437-1211 or your local law enforcement agency.


(For more information and a picture of the suspect see the Morganton Public Safety Facebook page)


On December 10, 2019 at 10:57 pm, Officers with Morganton Public Safety attempted to stop a vehicle traveling on Burkemont Ave for a fictitious registration plate.  The driver of the vehicle accelerated onto Salem Road in attempt to flee from officers. Due to the acceleration of the vehicle and the roads being wet from recent rain, the drive lost control of the vehicle, slid through yards and struck a house located at 1023 Salem Road. 

Officers identified the driver as, Austin Frisbee of 3233 Clark Loop, Lot 9 Morganton, NC.  Frisbee was pinned inside the vehicle for a short time after the crash.  With the assistance of Salem Fire Department, Frisbee was freed from the vehicle which was severely damaged.  North Carolina Highway Patrol investigated the crash scene.

The passenger was identified as Jadayn Moorefield of 3772 South Park Drive Morganton, NC.  Both Frisbee and Moorefield were transported to CHS Morganton and later release with no serious injuries. 

During the crash investigation, Officers located methamphetamine and various drug paraphernalia in the vehicle and in Moorefield’s possession.  Frisbee was charged with various driving offenses to include felony flee to elude arrest and reckless driving.  Additional charges included Felony possession of schedule I, methamphetamine, Possession of drug paraphernalia and Domestic Violence Protection Order Violation.  Frisbee is being held in the Burke Catawba Detention Facility under a $14,000 secured bond and a domestic violence hold pending his court appearance on December 13, 2019 in Burke County District Court.

Moore was charged with Felony Possession of Schedule I, methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.  She was confined to the Burke Catawba Detention Facility under a $3,000 secured bond pending a December 13, 2019 court appearance. 

No one in the residence was injured as a result of the crash.