A man who led officers on a high speed chase and a three-hour standoff in Iredell County on Thursday is now behind bars.
Investigators with the Iredell County Sheriff's office said 50-year-old James Keith Call was fired from his job in Alexander County at Shaun Lackey Excavating Thursday morning. They say Call went back to his former employer later and stole the dump truck. He then went to a produce stand on Hickory Highway In Iredell County.
"He waited for me to finish waiting on another lady. As she was driving off he came around the produce stand with his gun and said 'Give me your money,'" said Todd Holleman, who runs the produce stand.
During the 911 call Holleman made, the dispatcher asked him, "You said he had the pistol and he held it to you, correct?"
"He pulled it out of his pocket, pointed at me like waist high trying to keep it down so nobody would see it cause we're standing right on the side of the highway," Holleman responded.
Holleman said it didn't take long for officers to find the robber who took $300 from him.
"The sheriff must have been on 70 because I was on the phone with the 911 operator when they thought that an officer was already behind him," said Holleman.
But it took officers a while to convince Call to get out of his dump truck peacefully. He led them on a chase from Highway 70 to I-77 south to Mooresville. Stop sticks used by officers damaged Call's right tire forcing the dump truck off the road.
The dump truck then hit a guardrail and landed in woods by a rest area.
Officers say thankfully no one was hurt. And they say at no point did Call threaten officers. Holleman said officers were interviewing him at his produce stand during the standoff and relaying information they heard over the radio.
"They were hoping to just get him to give up without there being any bad stuff happening," Holleman said.
Holleman said his stand will be open Saturday but after this weekend he won't be coming back. He says after being robbed it isn't worth it.
Investigators say Call was evaluated at the hospital after the standoff. He was released Friday afternoon and arrested. He is facing a long list of charges including armed robbery, possession of a firearm by a felon, driving while impaired and fleeing to elude arrest.
He was arraigned and is being held on $355,000 bond.
WBTV looked up Call's criminal record. Back in 1996, it appears he led officers on another high speed chase in Iredell County. It did not end in a standoff and he was found guilty of reckless driving.