The following statement of facts is being released based on North Carolina General Statue153A-98 (c) (7), which authorizes the County Manager with the concurrence of the Board of Commissioners to release information pertinent to the termination of a county employee when such information is essential to maintaining public confidence.
Statement of Facts
Per department policy, the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office conducted an internal investigation into the accident involving Deputy J. Chester, which occurred on November 17, 2019, on Creekway Drive in Lenoir. The investigation revealed the following:
- The car was being operated in excess of 100 miles per hour. Body camera footage from inside the patrol car showed the speed at the time the vehicle lost control exceeded 110 MPH.
- The emergency response was being made to assist another Deputy, who had located an unoccupied stolen vehicle. The initial caller indicated that the vehicle was stolen by a subject, who had assaulted the caller with a knife.
- Three Deputies and three Lenoir Police Officers were closer in proximity to the officer requesting assistance than Deputy Chester. The primary back-up officer was already on scene with the requesting officer at the time of the accident.
The Sheriff’s Office emergency response driving policy is designed so that in all driving and related decision making the paramount consideration is the safety of the motoring public. Therefore, the continuous exercise of due regard for the safety of others is required.
Based on the listed factors, it was determined that the vehicle was not being operated within the policy of the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office.