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Escaped Convict Arrested in Damascus Monday Night

By Jesse Wood

July 1, 2014. Hours after escaping from the custody of an Alexander County Sheriff’s Deputy in Watauga County, James Brandon Smith, 35, of Newton, was eventually arrested in Damascus, Va., on Monday night after crashing a car stolen from Archie Carroll Road, according to Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman.

Smith was in the custody of Alexander County authorities for local court proceedings on Monday.


“Smith was in the passenger seat of the deputy’s vehicle when he pulled out a pair of needle-nosed pliers and held it to the deputy’s throat. Smith forced the deputy to drive him to a nearby Food Lion grocery store where he stole a Toyota 4Runner in a neighborhood and drove away,” according to a report on WSOC-TV.

Smith’s orange jumpsuit was found by search parties at Old U.S. 421, which is in the vicinity of Archie Carroll Road. The report said that the deputy wasn’t hurt and that Smith had a key to handcuffs. His escape from the deputy occurred at about 4 p.m. Monday.

Smith’s spree took him across three states – North Carolina, Tennessee and eventually Virginia, where he wrecked the stolen brown 4Runner and engaged in a foot chase with Damascus police, who set up a “tight perimeter and deployed a K-9 unit,” according to Hagaman.

Hagaman said that Watauga now has warrants for Smith on four charges – including assault on a government official. In addition to being in the custody of Alexander County Sheriff’s Office, he is also wanted in Catawba County for charges.

According to a local report in Hickory, Smith stole a vehicle at a gas station in late May and ended up in a car chase with local police. After refusing to pullover, local authorities later engaged in a foot race in a wooded area, where he was eventually surrounded and taken into custody by the Hickory Police SWAT team the following morning.

See pics of the crash in Virginia here.