A State Highway Patrol spokesman issued a warning Wednesday to anyone thinking about harming a trooper.
“It should be noted," 1st Sgt. Michael Baker said as he spoke from an on-campus podium at Wilkes Community College. “Any time one of our troopers is harmed, the State Highway Patrol will use any and all resources to ensure those involved are swiftly brought to justice.”
A 24-year-old Highway Patrol trooper, Samuel Bullard, died at about 10:45 p.m. Monday in a car chase sparked by a black BMW speeding thorough a driver's-license checkpoint. Bullard's cruiser crashed head-on into a bridge abutment on Interstate 77 while in high-speed pursuit.
The alleged driver of the BMW, Dakota Kape Whitt, of Elkin, was arrested around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday.
The Highway Patrol said investigators captured Whitt by using another traffic stop. After hearing about Whitt's whereabouts, Baker said, investigators traveled to the Traphill area in northeast Wilkes County to set up a traffic stop. They located Whitt and arrested him without incident, Baker said.
Whitt was charged with murder, felony fleeing to elude arrest in a motor vehicle causing death, and driving with a revoked license.
At a Wednesday morning arraignment, a Yadkin County judge ruled against allowing Whitt bond.
Baker said funeral services for Bullard will be held May 25 on the Wilkes Community College campus. A visitation ceremony will be held between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., with the funeral service is starting at 1 p.m.