Drone Leads to Arrest of Felony Assault Suspect

MONROE, N.C. – Over the weekend, UCSO Charlie Squad patrol deputies assisted the Monroe Police Department in the investigation of a felony assault that occurred at the Quick Stop Pantry on North Rocky River Road.

Assisting deputies learned that the suspect in this case, 24-year-old Makayla Gathing-Bliss, fled the service station in a vehicle after committing the assault and that she was in the company of 21-year-old Justin Wayne Simpson of Marshville, who was also wanted by law enforcement on unrelated charges.

Deputies drove to a residence in the 2000 block of Faulks Church Rd. in Marshville in order to locate the two suspects. Upon their arrival, deputies learned that the suspects had abandoned their vehicle and fled on foot.

A UCSO Detention Division Sgt. who is also a licensed drone operator responded to assist with the search and brought a drone capable of identifying infrared heat signatures. Shortly after deploying the drone, the Sgt. observed two heat signatures via the drone’s camera in a nearby field that were ultimately identified as the suspects in this case.

Deputies arrested both suspects in the field where they were hiding and turned them over to officers with the Monroe Police Department who handled all applicable criminal charges in this case.

Anyone with information pertaining to this incident is asked to call the Monroe Police Department at (704)282-4700 or Union County Crime Stoppers at (704)283-5600.