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N.C. Reserve Deputy Fired, Charged for Shooting from His Yard at Car Fleeing from On-Duty Officers

July 07, 2015  | 

Reserve Deputy Ted Blackwell faces charges of firing into a moving, occupied vehicle. (Photo: Henderson County Sheriff)
Reserve Deputy Ted Blackwell faces charges of firing into a moving, occupied vehicle. (Photo: Henderson County Sheriff)

A North Carolina reserve deputy who fired a shotgun at a suspected drunk driver fleeing from law officers has been fired and charged with a felony, Henderson County Sheriff Charlie McDonald announced Friday.

In a news conference just before 5 p.m. McDonald said the actions by Ted R. Blackwell, Jr., 64, had violated sheriff department policies. After an internal investigation that McDonald and District Attorney Greg Newman reviewed, the charges were brought.

Blackwell faces a maximum penalty of almost 17 years in prison on the charge of firing into a moving occupied vehicle. Given the lack of a criminal record, the maximum penalty would more realistically be four to five years, Newman told the Hendersonville Lightning.

The sheriff's department policy "strictly prohibits a deputy from discharging a firearm to warn, intimidate, frighten a person or to fire warning shots," McDonald said. "All of our officers are aware of that."

Blackwell was following the chase on a police radio and fired the shot from a personally owned shotgun as the fleeing driver passed his house in Dana on Friday afternoon, the sheriff's office said. Law officers who chased the vehicle through two apple orchards stopped the driver about three minutes after the gun blast. The driver, Jonathan Keith Lyda, 43, of 26 Imperial Drive, faces numerous charges.

Comments (4)

Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

kevCopAz @ 7/7/2015 9:40 PM

wow, was this idiot drunk (I mean the reserve deputy) or has he seen too many Dukes of Hazrd movies? What a blazing idiot!

General Lee @ 7/7/2015 9:55 PM

What a worthless n stupid idiot this cop is. Just made all law enforcement look bad once again. So much for Psychological tests. I can bet money he has done other dept policy violations and nothing was done about it or covered up. You don't do something this dangerous n stupid for the first time. Best he has a pattern.

Jon Retired LEO @ 7/8/2015 8:28 AM

I would bet that they screen their applicants for reserves a little more carefully after this. This moron did not and does not ever deserve to wear a badge again. He made a bad situation worse for everybody including himself.

BCDSR R9 @ 7/11/2015 9:49 AM

Where do I even start? It's not like people are looking for every chance to point fingers at law enforcement these days, but man... he's just made it that much worse for reserves everywhere.

Then there's the whole failing physics, common sense, range safety... and... shooting at drunks!? When did that ever sound like somebody would approve?

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