Man charged after chase on I-85 in Rowan County

Suspect is mental health advocate in South Carolina
John Paton Blough, 45, was charged.
John Paton Blough, 45, was charged.(Rowan Sheriff's Office)
Published: Sep. 6, 2021 at 7:13 PM EDT
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ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - A man known for his work with mental illness faces new charges after he was involved in a pursuit with law enforcement on Monday in Rowan County.

John Paton Blough, 45, was arrested on Monday morning on charges of felony flee to elude arrest, misdemeanor flee to elude with a motor vehicle in Rowan and Forsyth County, and hit and run with property damage in Rowan and Davidson County.

The arrest was made at I-85 and Highway 52 in Salisbury. Bond was set at $9000.

Additional details will be released on Tuesday.

Blough is well-known in the Greenville, SC, area as an advocate and speaker for mental health issues. In a 2019 incident, Blough, who was originally charged with second-degree domestic violence, pleaded guilty to aggravated breach of peace.

On his website, Blough describes himself as founder of an advocacy group called Rehinge. He writes that he lives with bipolar disorder and says “manic episodes” are responsible for his criminal record.

“I never had a criminal record before my manic episodes, but I ended up receiving multiple misdemeanor and two felony convictions—one for assaulting (spitting on) a jail intake officer and a second for threatening the life of a public official, both while incarcerated,” Blough wrote.

Blough is due in court on Tuesday.

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