Leroy O'Dell Boles

Leroy O'Dell Boles

The Elkin Police Department reported that a man was arrested on the felony charge of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill after a pedestrian was hit with a motor vehicle during a “Black Lives Matter” protest march Saturday.

The man who was arrested, identified by authorities as Leroy O’Dell Boles, 50, of Seward, Alaska, was also charged with the misdemeanor offense of going armed to the terror of the public and failure to yield to a pedestrian, an infraction. Records show Boles also has a residence on Austin-Traphill Road in the Austin community of Wilkes.

An Elkin police press release said the victim was helping other people cross the street on a cross walk at the intersection of Main and Bridge streets when he was struck.

“After the collision, Mr. Boles exited his vehicle with a firearm, which he held by his side, and engaged in a verbal altercation with the victim. Officers of the Elkin Police Department arrived on the scene as the incident was unfolding and Mr. Boles was quickly arrested. The victim of the incident did not report any injuries but there was damage to Mr. Boles’ vehicle from the collision,” the release said.

West Caudle of Elkin, the person struck by the vehicle (an SUV) and an organizer of the protest march, said in an interview that the driver’s side rearview mirror hit his left forearm, which he had raised to protect his ribs. “I was not injured, save two small nicks and a faint bruise,” said Caudle.

He said the driver stated after exiting the SUV, “You want to go ____?” referring to him with profanity. Caudle said he repeatedly told the man to put down the handgun he was holding and that Elkin police quickly took the driver into custody.

Caudle said the SUV was third in a line of cars in a southbound lane of Bridge Street just before the intersection with Main Street when it accelerated and hit him, but didn’t knock him down.

He said Brittany Markle, a licensed clinical social worker; Sheila Gray, a community advocate; and Clarence Gray, a combat veteran, were quickly by his side after the incident occurred.

Boles was given a $60,000 secured bond by a Surry County magistrate and transported to the Surry County Jail in Mount Airy.

Caudle is also an organizer of Yadkin Valley Community Matters, the organization responsible for the protest march.

“The response to the protest was overwhelmingly positive by passersby and the dozens of community members who didn’t attend but brought over 20 cases of water, multiple pizzas, etc. for those in attendance. There were donations occurring throughout the day well into the afternoon,” said Caudle.

“For every individual who shouted opposition as they passed, there were 50 that honked, waved, thumbs up'd and responded positively in general.” 

A press release from Yadkin Valley Community Matters thanked law enforcement and other emergency personnel for their assistance with the event Saturday.

Caudle also is the campaign chairman for Beth Shaw of Elkin, Democratic candidate for the N.C. House to represent the 90th District (much of Wilkes and Surry counties and all of Alleghany County).

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