Stroupe captured, found in missing man’s car

Phillip Stroupe II
Phillip Stroupe II

McDOWELL Co., N.C. (WSPA) — Deputies say Phillip Stroupe II has been arrested in McDowell County.

Phillip Stroupe II
Phillip Stroupe II

Employees at the Sheriff’s Office who said Stroupe faced criminal charges in McDowell County and would face a judge sometime Thursday.

McDowell Co. Sheriff Dudley Greene says a firearm was found near where he abandoned the vehicle of Henderson Co. missing man, Thomas Bryson.

Officers spotted Stroupe in a vehicle on Highway 80 and used stop sticks, but Stroupe managed to get on Highway 70 where he jumped out of the vehicle and fled into a tomato field before his apprehension, Sheriff Greene said.

Sheriff Greene said they believe Stroupe was in Bryson’s vehicle, but there was no sign of Bryson.

He said law enforcement agencies are still trying to find the missing man.

STROUPE CHARGES IN McDOWELL CO.

Possession of methamphetamine
Fleeing to elude arrest
Failure to stop for a steady red light
Reckless driving to endanger
Resisting a public officer and possession of a firearm by a felon.

He is in the McDowell County jail under a $100,000 bond.

Thomas A. Bryson
Thomas A. Bryson

Greene said Stroupe had meth in his personal items.

Stroupe had been on the run since Saturday.

Authorities said Stroupe fled in a vehicle before stealing a mountain bike and taking off into the Pisgah National Forest.

Several agencies searched the forest, as well as surrounding areas for Stroupe, who they believed was armed with a gun.

One day after authorities said Stroupe may have been seen in Henderson County, they announced they were treating the disappearance of a man as a possible kidnapping.

Thomas Bryson was reported missing near the area where Stroupe may have been spotted.

Bryson left his home in the South Mills River Road area on Wednesday morning.

Sheriff Greene said they received word around 10:40 p.m. Wednesday that Stroupe may have been in Yancey County where he has family and fled towards McDowell County.

Bryson, 68, is described as 5 feet 9 inches and weighing 175 pounds with gray mustache and hair. He was last seen wearing a plaid, dark-colored shirt, brown cargo shorts and tennis shoes.

Deputies believe Stroupe may have traveled to eastern Tennessee before he was captured.

If you have any information regarding Bryson’s whereabouts, you are asked to contact local law enforcement.

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