More details have been released in the arrest of 34-year-old James Brandon Smith of Newton. He was taken into custody Monday night (June 30) in Damascus, Virginia, as reported yesterday (July 1) on WHKY.
Smith had been a prisoner in Watauga County following his arrest by Boone Police on June 23 in connection to a car chase and standoff with Officers in Catawba County. That incident, which occurred on June 18, resulted in a fire being set in a wheat field. He eluded authorities in Catawba County, but was taken into custody without incident by Boone Police at the Red Carpet Inn on Highway 321 in Boone.
Smith was taken to Alexander County for court appearance on the morning of June 30. Following the court proceedings, an Alexander County Deputy was transporting Smith back to Boone when the suspect used a pair of needle-nosed pliers he had concealed to overcome the Deputy by force. Smith escaped from the patrol vehicle in the area of Old Highway 421 North in Boone.
Watauga County residents were asked to lock their homes and report any suspicious activity. Multiple agencies were called to assist in the search, including K-9 teams and aircraft. A short time later, an area resident reported her Toyota 4Runner stolen.
The search in Watauga County continued until authorities learned that Smith had been captured after crashing the stolen 4Runner in the Washington County town of Damascus in Virginia. The chase with authorities in Virginia reportedly reached speeds of more than 100 miles per hour. He fled the scene of the crash on foot, but was taken into custody a short time later, near the intersection of state Route 91 and Orchard Hill Road.
Smith is also the suspect in an overnight standoff with Hickory Police on May 20 & 21. In that incident, Smith allegedly fired shots at Officers from a wooded area near the end of 17th Avenue N.E. and 17th Avenue Drive N.E. No one was injured. Smith was arrested on the morning of May 21, but was later released on bond.
He faces a long list of charges in multiple jurisdictions with court dates coming up on July 21 & 24 and on August 1, 4 & 12.