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The Hickory Police Department reports  a man took his own life in a hospital parking lot. According to published reports, Hickory Police say a white 84-year-old man used a Taurus Judge revolver to commit suicide in Catawba Valley Medical Center parking lot. The incident happened at approximately 10:45 p.m. Friday. The published reports say the man was at the wheel of a Mercedes when he pulled into the parking lot near the emergency room. He got out of the car and was reported to be seen “acting strangely.” The report says a man approached, thinking the driver of the Mercedes may have been having a heart attack. When he asked if the man was okay, the man responded by putting a revolver in his mouth and pulling the trigger. Hickory police have not released any more information about the incident.

28-year-old Rigoberto Guerrero-Bacilio of Morganton, was given a sentence of 20-29 years in the custody of the North Carolina Department of Corrections by the Honorable Reuben F. Young, Special Superior Court Judge from Raleigh. The defendant pleaded guilty to sex offense with a child and indecent liberties with a child on January 5 in Burke County Superior Court. When released, he will have to register as a sex offender. Burke County Sheriff’s Department Det. Isaac Propst investigated the case, and the Burke County Child Advocacy Center provide assistance to the 11-year-old female victim and her family. The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Frank Webster.

25-year-old Takaaki Ishibashi of Los Angeles, California was arrested last week in Cabarrus County on felony marijuana charges as the result of an investigation conducted by the Homeland Security Investigations Task Force. An investigator from the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office and a North Carolina State Highway Patrol Trooper are assigned to the Task Force.

On Tuesday (January 13), Agents intercepted a package destined for a storage unit in Mooresville. The package contained just over seven pounds of marijuana concealed in large sealed cans. It was shipped from Long Beach, California, with Nathan Yong of Dallas, Texas listed as the recipient. Investigators found the shipping information to be false and were unable to identify the suspect.

With assistance from Mooresville Police Investigators, Officers seized an additional 3.5 pounds of marijuana from the storage unit. Iredell County Investigators then contacted Officers in California. On Wednesday (January 14), an Iredell County Investigator intercepted another package containing eight pounds of marijuana being shipped from the same address in California to the same storage unit in Mooresville. Yong was again the intended recipient.

On Friday (January 16) Iredell County Investigators and Mooresville Police received a tip that Yong was at the storage facility. Officers followed Yong to a different storage facility in Concord. He was seen entering the storage unit and then exiting a few moments later.

A traffic stop was conducted and Yong was identified as Takaaki Ishibashi of Los Angeles. Ishibashi was interviewed and arrested by Mooresville Police. In the suspect’s vehicle were additional keys to storage units in Pineville, Cornelius, Huntersville, Kannapolis and Concord. Those units were searched and an additional 31 pounds of marijuana and other drug paraphernalia were seized.

Ishibashi was taken to the Cabarrus County Jail where he received a $2 million bond on charges filed by Investigators in Mooresville. He’ll appear in a Cabarrus County courtroom on January 20; in Rowan County District Court on January 21; and in Iredell County on January 22.

Iredell County Investigators plan to charge Ishibashi with trafficking in marijuana and conspiracy to traffic marijuana. The investigation is ongoing with assistance from Mooresville Police and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Monday, 19 January 2015 05:23

Home Extensively Damaged in Morganton Fire

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Fire caused extensive damage to a home in Burke County. The Morganton Department of Public Safety personnel responded to a reported house fire at 216 Coulter Street. According to a news release that was issued Sunday, first arriving officers reported that flames and smoke were visible throughout the house and roof. Public Safety personnel were on scene approximately four hours. The occupant of the home, Darren Roper, was not injured. Preliminary findings indicate that a makeshift woodstove-in the basement of the home was responsible for the fire. According to Roper, the home did not have electrical service and he used the woodstove for heat. According to GIS records, the property is owned by Tillman Powell. The residence, valued at approximately $20,000 was heavily damaged by fire, and smoke.

A man has been charged in connection with the death of another man Sunday at a motel in Morganton. Yesterday at approximately 4:45 p.m., Morganton Public Safety Officers responded to the Eagle Motel on Carbon City Road in reference to a disturbance. Upon arrival Public Safety Officers found a deceased male lying in the parking lot. Investigation revealed the victim had a physical altercation with 54-year-old Ria Rufus. A news release from Public Safety says the altercation ended with Rufus striking and killing the victim with his vehicle. Rufus was arrested for Voluntary Manslaughter and detained in the Burke-Catawba District Confinement Facility without a bond. The name of the victim has not been released.

Sunday, 18 January 2015 15:56

Teen Charged With Rape

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17-year-old Angel Antonio Guardado of West D Street in Newton was arrested Saturday (January 17) by Newton Police Officers. He's charged with second degree rape. Following the arrest, Guardado was detained at the Catawba County Detention Facility under $20,000 bond. A court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday January 21).

Sunday, 18 January 2015 15:53

Fugitive Sought By Burke County Sheriff's Office

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The Burke County Sheriff's Office is seeking a fugitive. 28-year-old Michael Leonard Norman Jr., whose last known address was Windy Hill Hollow, Morganton, is being sought by authorities. He's wanted on felony counts of assault inflicting serious bodily injury, first degree burglary, second degree kidnapping, robbery with a dangerous weapon, and possession of a firearm by a felon. Michael Leonard Norman is a white male with red hair, blue eyes, stands 5'10", and weighs 142. He has a tattoo on his right forearm that says MLN. If you know of this fugitive's whereabouts contact the Burke County Sheriff's Office at 828-438-5500, or crimestoppers at 828-437-3333.

Monday is the day the birthday of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. is being recognized. It is a federal holiday and banks are closed along with government offices. There is no regular mail delivery Monday. Government offices along with banks and other businesses closed Monday will reopen on Tuesday. 

Rescue agencies responded to the Linville Gorge area of Burke County this morning and continued their efforts during the afternoon hours to assist an injured hiker. The hiker was suffering from an ankle injury. According to reports, workers got to the hiker in the Bynum Bluff area shortly before 1 p.m. Burke County EMS received the call just after 10 a.m. Rescue workers were still on the scene as of 2 p.m. Several agencies responded.

43-year-old Danny Don Delgado of Rebecca Jane Drive in Mooresville has been charged with one count each of assault on a government official or employee and resisting a public officer.

The incident occurred at the Iredell County Detention Center at about 11 a.m. Monday (January 12) when Deputy Joseph Prevette saw inmate Danny Delgado in violation of Detention Center rules. The Deputy approached Delgado and began to speak to him when Delgado swung at and hit the Deputy. A struggle ensued. Other Detention Officers quickly arrived and assisted in gaining control of the inmate.

Delgado and Deputy Prevette sustained only minor injuries.

Delgado had been in custody since April 26 of last year for assault on a female, violation of a protective order, statutory rape or sex offence and indecent liberties with a child. He is currently being held under a total bond of $150,000. Delgado will appear in District Court on the latest charges on January 28 and in Superior Court on February 2 on the other charges.