Brazen. Callous. Stupid. All words to describe the actions of one North Carolina sheriff’s deputy. Deputy Jeffrey Dean Athey, 51, of 140 Knotty Pine Road in Salisbury is behind bars after robbing a Rowan County bank Tuesday. According to Davidson County Sheriff David Grice, Athey has been subsequently fired from the department. Grice is reported to be the one who fired Athey.
“They know that they’re not going to be employed with me if they violate the law,” Grice said in a phone interview. “They know what the law is. He knew what the law was.”
Police reports indicate that Athey went into F&M Bank at 418 W. Main Street in Rockwell, North Carolina. Tuesday afternoon and pulled out a Glock 42 semi-automatic on a clerk. Reports did not specify if the gun used was his service weapon or a personal use one. Athey told the clerk that he needed money. After getting a measly thousand dollars, the former deputy took off in a silver mustang. Athey didn’t make it far with deputies catching up to him about five minutes later. Athey was taken into custody near the intersection of U.S. Hwy 52 and Crescent Road within minutes of the 911 Dispatch.
Although Grice is relieved that his former deputy didn’t hurt anyone in the process or attempt to resist arrest, he is appalled and disheartened by what happened.
“I am shocked and appalled as anyone else about Mr. Athey’s behavior. His employment with our agency gave no indications of this type of behavior,” Sheriff Grice said.
According to the Carolina lawman, Athey was employed with the department for several years in the civil division. Athey was in charge of prisoner transport. In fact, Athey was scheduled to work later on that same day. He also did a stint in Afghanistan with a private security firm.
Grice didn’t provide any more details about the case citing the investigation was being handled by the Rowan County investigators. All the money was however recovered.
Athey appeared in court Wednesday and Judge Kevin Eddinger warned him that he would face up to 17 years in prison if convicted. In the future he will be represented by court appointed attorney Darrin D. Jordan according to the Rowan Free Press.
Athey was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon and has since been jailed in Rowan County under a $500,000 secured bond. (If he thought he needed money before, he really needs it now.)
The Rockwell Police department was assisted by the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI, and the Granite Quarry Police Department.
Coincidentally, this Jeff Athey is not to be confused with another deputy by the same name out of Iowa who was arrested in 2014 for sexual assault….. or is it?
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