A man who was under arrest Thursday night for second-degree kidnapping and a weapons charge is missing after allegedly stealing a Guilford County deputy’s vehicle.
The Guilford County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help to locate 31-year-old Carl “Preston” Davis, of 1304 Kersey Valley Road in High Point. Along with his kidnapping charge, he is wanted for robbery with a dangerous weapon, felony larceny, speeding, driving while his license is revoked and a probation violation.
Davis quickly ditched the car and ran.
Sheriff’s office spokesman Col. Randy Powers said the deputy was in the process of arresting Davis when he was ordered to respond to a nearby emergency 911 call. Powers said while the deputy was handling the second call, the slender Davis was able to slip his handcuffs from his back to the front and speed off with the patrol vehicle.
Powers confirmed there were weapons in the patrol vehicle but those were locked and inaccessible.
Powers would not name the deputy involved but said department procedures were followed.
The deputy was patrolling Kivett Drive searching for Davis at about 7:45 p.m. Thursday when Davis was spotted walking along the road, Powers said.
The deputy was not using his assigned patrol car Thursday because it was being repaired. Instead, he was using a spare patrol vehicle that does not have a divider between the front and back seats, Powers said. The deputy followed procedure and handcuffed Davis behind his back and placed him in the front passenger seat.
Davis told the deputy his girlfriend’s vehicle had run out of gas on Jackson Lake Road and that he had been walking to get her help.
Jackson Lake Road intersects Kivett Drive. The deputy turned down Jackson Lake Road to find Davis’ girlfriend, but only found her vehicle.
At 7:53 p.m., communication operators asked the deputy to respond to a breaking-and-entering in progress at Jackson Lake Road because no other deputies were in the area.
“That’s an emergency call,” Powers said. “Breaking and enterings can result in a homicide from either side. He was the only car in the area so he had to go regardless.”
Powers said that it is very rare that a deputy has to break off from his original call while an arrest is in progress, but the deputy did what was necessary.
When the deputy arrived at the scene of the breaking-and-entering, he found Davis’ girlfriend at the house.
The deputy went to speak with both the girlfriend and the 911 caller.
It was during those conversations, deputies said, that Davis took control of the vehicle and sped away.
“He only had it for one minute after he stole it,” Powers said. “He was close to his house and the radio was blaring.”
Powers said dispatch was monitoring the patrol vehicle’s location and giving responding officers turn-by-turn directions to catch up to him.
“He knew they were right behind him and coordinating how they were coming in,” Powers said. “I think he felt like he should get out quickly.”
Deputies said Davis jumped out of the vehicle and ran. The incident happened in Davis’ neighborhood where, Powers said, Davis has many friends.
Powers said deputies and High Point police officers set up a large perimeter to look for Davis.
A helicopter, drones, K-9 officers and deputies on foot helped in the search.
They also asked to search a nearby house. Powers said the homeowner refused to let deputies inside, which forced investigators to get a warrant.
Before deputies served the search warrant, the owner gave in and let the deputies inside. Davis wasn’t there.
“I don’t know if that means he had been there and somehow they were able to get him out without us noticing,” Power said.
Deputies ended their search after midnight.
Powers said he did not want to provide a lot of details about what deputies are doing to locate Davis but said teams of investigators are working to find him.
Davis has a criminal history that includes convictions for breaking and entering, assault on a female, assault by strangulation and obtaining property by false pretense.
Powers said he hopes to add charges against Davis.