Stanfield police arrest man suspected of 2012 hit and run

Published 6:15 pm Thursday, February 24, 2022

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Stanfield Police arrested an individual Thursday afternoon they say was involved in a hit and run case a decade ago.

Police Chief Corie Faggart said 29-year-old Rusty Brownfield, a Stanfield resident, has been charged with felony hit and run causing serious injury. Faggart says Brownfield’s vehicle struck bicyclist Michelle Dowdey as she was turning left onto Nance Road from Renee Ford Road on July 26, 2012.

“He hit her and then never even slowed down, he just continued going,” Faggart said.

Dowdey was seriously injured and flown by helicopter to the hospital, he said.

The incident garnered much attention throughout the town. A banner was placed at the scene of the wreck and Dowdey offered a reward for information leading to any arrest, though none were made. The case had remained open for the past 10 years.

Faggart, who first reviewed the case as a detective in 2014, said it was always one of his goals to solve the case.

A few days ago, he got his chance after a witness who knew Brownfield came forward and presented new information to the police that implicated Brownfield. Faggart was then able to secure a warrant for Brownfield’s arrest. He also called Dowdey to let her know an arrest had been made.

Brownfield was placed in jail on a secure $15,000 bond.

“Anytime that we have an open case like that where someone was injured…it never leaves our mind and we always want to solve those cases,” Faggart said. “And in instances like this when we’re able to, it feels really good to bring that victim some closure.”

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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