A WIlkesboro police officer was hurt yesterday as he tried to keep a man who was being involuntarily committed for mental treatment from escaping. An arrest warrant describes the injuries to officer George Reeves as heavy abrasions to his hands and knees — technically minor, but described by Chief Robert Bowlin as “fairly severe” in a statement released this morning. Reeves was maintaining custody on 24-year old Phillip Stone while they were awaiting evaluation yesterday evening at Wilkes Regional Medical Center. He accompanied Stone outside so Stone could smoke, and on the way back in Stone allegedly pushed Officer Reeves, knocking him to the ground, and tried to run off. In spite of the injuries, Reeves chased Stone across 421 Business and down an embankment, after a passing EMS crew pointed out where Stone had gone. When two passers-by stopped and got out of their pickup and started toward him, Stone simply stopped and let Reeves take him back into custody. Warrants are now pending against Stone for assault on a government official, and resisting an officer. They will be served upon his release from mental treatment.
What looked to be pretty serious knife wounds to two Wilkes men Saturday actually turned out relatively minor, considering where they were. The accused stabber is in jail under a 100-thousand dollar secured bond. Deputies say the stabbing happened Saturday afternoon in front of Mountain View Supermarket. Randy Billings and Adam Prevette, who are both 23, were apparently sitting in a car outside the store when they were approached by 40-year old Robert Earl Johnson. Witnesses say Johnson started hitting Prevette with a chunk of firewood, prompting Prevette and Billings to get out of the car and struggle with Johnson. Numerous witnesses saw the fight. At some point, both Billings and Prevette were stabbed and Johnson ran off with the two men chasing him. It was only about 15 yards before Billings stopped chasing, turning around and saying he’d been stabbed. He was found to have a severe cut on the face and a puncture wound to the chest. Prevette continued chasing Johnson until he collapsed about 50 yards up the road. Deputies found him with a puncture wound to his left chest under the arm, sprawled out on the roadside. Johnson was taken into custody without incident. Deputies report he had thrown the knife somewhere along the roadside, and it has not yet been found. Both men were airlifted to the hospital — Prevette to Baptist, where he was treated and released and Billings to Charlotte where he was reported in fair condition yesterday morning. Johnson is held on two charges of Assault With A Deadly Weapon, with Intent to Kill, Inflicting Serious Injury.
Signup for Christmas in Wilkes starts today and runs through Friday. The annual program, which is in its 13th year in Wilkes county, helped 1397 children last year, and with the jobs lost locally this year, officials expect higher demand this year. Lynn Dyer spoke with 3WC’s Angela Henley last week about the requirements for families who apply:
Applications are being taken at the Worth Tomlinson Fairgrounds today through Friday from noon to 7pm each day.