• Officers from several departments responded to Wednesday's high-speed chase that ended on Texana Road. Photo by BEN KATZ
    Officers from several departments responded to Wednesday's high-speed chase that ended on Texana Road. Photo by BEN KATZ

Officers finally corner wanted man after dangerous chase

    Texana – The outbreak of high-speed chases in Cherokee County over recent weeks came to a head again Wednesday afternoon, when a wanted man from Tennessee led officers all over the county and endangered citizens before finally being subdued.
    “It’s a miracle from God that no one was hurt or killed,” Sheriff Derrick Palmer said.
    Mason Kelly Nykolajcuyk, 26, of Cleveland, Tenn., was arrested around noon Wednesday when the stolen truck he was driving finally flipped over due to damage caused to his tires by police barricades.
    Nykolajcuyk was one of the 10 most wanted men in Bradley County, Tenn., after a slew of charges. He is accused of stealing the truck he was driving from a home invasion he may have perpetrated in that county as well.
    On Tuesday, Nykolajcuyk and Ashley Hale, 22, of Delano, Tenn., were pulled over in Polk County. At some point, the two suspects were outside the car and Hale allegedly stabbed the responding deputy, who fell back and hit his head on a rock.
    While remaining deputies were dealing with her, Nykolajcuyk allegedly jumped back in the truck and fled east toward North Carolina.
    A BOLO alert was put out for the truck, and it was spotted by Lt. Joe Wood near the Arby’s on U.S. 74 in Murphy on Tuesday. When Wood attempted to pull it over, the chase was on.
    Nykolajcuyk led officers down into town, onto Harshaw Road, through Peachtree, back up to Bulldog Drive near Murphy High School and onto Joe Brown Highway, finally running off the road in Texana.
    Palmer said Nykolajcuyk was driving 60-70 miles per hour on two rims after plowing through police countermeasures that burst tires on one side of the truck.
    Palmer said not only did Nykolajcuyk try to veer into the pursuing patrol cars, but he allegedly tried to run down a pedestrian near the Clay County line, as well as driving on the wrong side of the road from Peachtree Street to Bulldog Drive.
    Nykolajcuyk was arrested on charges of vleeing/eluding arrest, assault with a deadly weapon on a government official and possession of a stolen automobile.
    Nykolajcuyk’s lengthy record in Tennessee includes charges of manufacturing or sale of methamphetamine, simple possession, driving with suspended license, possession of prohibited weapons, criminal impersonation and more.
    Hale is facing charges in Polk County of aggravated assault, resisting arrest, fleeing and eluding, pickpocketing, manufacture of a controlled substance, possession of contraband in the jail and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to Polk County jail records.

Other chases
    The incident was another in a rash of high-speed pursuits through the county in the last 10 days.
    On Thursday morning, Union County, Ga., authorities called in the theft of a flatbed truck, and Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies located a suspicious vehicle that matched the description in Moccasin Creek.
    When deputies tried to pull the car over, the driver fled pulling a cattle trailer toward U.S. 129 and into Georgia. The driver – later identified as Thomas Elijah Hogan of Marble – eventually bailed and ran on foot, where he was cornered in a barn.
    Hogan was arrested by Union County deputies on a charge of theft by taking motor vehicle as well as false statements and writings, according to a release.
    On April 15, a man being detained in a possible attempt to shoplift 3 pounds of bacon fled Walmart and led police on a high-speed chase.
    Dustin Terrone Totherow, 41, of Murphy, allegedly bolted out through the home and garden section of the store with his pilfered pork, then took off through the parking lot in a white Camaro. Murphy police Officer Samuel Allen gave chase, following Totherow down Regal Road and through Old Tomotla at speeds in excess of 110 mph.
    As the Camaro made its way to Andrews, the driver bailed near the excavation site at U.S. 19 Business and U.S. 19/74, according to a release. Allen pursued and found Totherow in the woods.
    Totherow was arrested on charges of fleeing/eluding arrest, resisting public officer, aggressive driving, carrying concealed gun, fictitious tag, no insurance, 110 mph in a 45 zone, misdemeanor larceny and possession of stolen goods.

The Cherokee Scout

Mailing Address:
89 Sycamore St. 

Murphy, NC 28906
Phone: 828-837-5122
Fax: 828-837-5832