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Deputies: Suspect fled to church




An Iron Station man, who deputies say led them on a chase that ended up at a church after an assault Sunday morning, faces multiple criminal charges and is being held under a more than $20,000 bond.

Justin Eugene Blalock, 31, of 1362 Branton Drive, allegedly assaulted a woman sometime between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m., before fleeing the scene in her vehicle, authorities said.

Deputies responded to the area and quickly spotted the suspect traveling down Orchard Road, according to a Sheriff’s Office press release.

Blalock led deputies on a vehicular chase past Iron Station Country Store, where he cut through the back of the store and accessed Will Schronce Road. He eventually lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a field near Hovis Road, authorities said.

Blalock had reportedly sustained speeds in the chase of nearly 100-mph.

With the car damaged, deputies said Blalock immediately took off on foot past Iron Station Missionary Baptist Church.

Deputies finally apprehended him after he allegedly tried to grab a person from a large group standing outside the church, Sheriff’s Office authorities said.

A “brief struggle” ensued between the suspect and deputies. However, no one was injured in the incident, and Blalock refused treatment from Emergency Medical Services, authorities said.

Blalock was booked in the county jail under a $22,250 secured bond and faces a slew of charges including one felony count of speeding to elude arrest.

Additional charges against Blalock are misdemeanors and include assault on a female, driving while impaired, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, failure to comply, possession of drug paraphernalia, careless and reckless driving, failure to stop at a stop sign, driving with a revoked license, injury to real property and resisting, delaying and obstructing a public officer, authorities said.

Blalock also has a history of drug-related crimes in Lincoln County, according to the North Carolina Department of Correction Website. He even spent nearly a year in prison for felony drug possession in 2008.

Five years earlier, Blalock was found guilty of two other felony offenses in the county including larceny after breaking and entering and possession of stolen goods, NC DOC records showed.

He also escaped a Rutherford County correctional facility in 2004. Other misdemeanor offenses to his name include unrelated instances of drug possession, larceny and assault on government.

Blalock is scheduled to make a court appearance on his recent charges on Friday.

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