Man punches deputy, flees on stolen golf cart

Christopher Lee Erwin
Christopher Lee Erwin Rowan County Sheriff’s Office

A driver accused of punching a Rowan County sheriff’s deputy got away on a golf cart he took from a golfer on a course in Salisbury this week.

Suspect Christopher Lee Erwin is accused of riding the stolen cart down the 13th fairway at Rolling Hills Golf Club and eluding a State Highway Patrol helicopter and officers from several departments on Tuesday. He remained at large Thursday.

Erwin motored down the fairway toward Mooresville Road, turned right and went out of sight, the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office said.

Erwin had just punched a sheriff’s deputy several times on the right side of the deputy’s face, after the deputy fired a Taser at him, investigators said.

Authorities gave this account of what happened:

The deputy activated his emergency lights after a car made “a quick turn maneuver” at Rowan Mill Road and South Main Street in Salisbury at about 11:25 a.m. The deputy discovered the car’s owner had a suspended license.

The driver ignored the deputy’s lights and accelerated down Balfour Drive and onto a trail in the woods, where the car wrecked.

After the driver quickly put his hands in his pockets, the deputy fired his Taser, but it had no effect on the man. The suspect lunged at the officer and repeatedly punched him, “leaving the deputy momentarily stunned,” the sheriff’s office said. The man ran toward Par Drive and stole the cart.

Investigators found crack cocaine and drug paraphernalia in the car and a 9mm handgun outside the driver’s door. The gun was stolen from Lexington in April, the sheriff’s office said.

Erwin, 32, of Salisbury is charged with resisting a public officer, assault on a law enforcement officer inflicting injury, felonious fleeing to elude arrest, possession of a stolen firearm, carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a firearm by a felon, common law robbery, felony possession of a schedule II controlled substance, possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver a schedule II controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Anyone who knows Erwin’s whereabouts should call 911 or Salisbury-Rowan Crime Stoppers at 1-866-639-5245. Crime Stoppers offers a reward of up to $1,000, and callers can remain anonymous.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak