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Catawba County deputy charged with DWI; fired from the Sheriff’s Office
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Catawba County deputy charged with DWI; fired from the Sheriff’s Office

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A Catawba County Sheriff’s deputy was charged with DWI after being involved in a hit-and-run crash on U.S. 321 in Hickory.

Eric Dixon Walker, 33, of Lenoir was charged with driving while impaired and hit and run property damage on July 2.

According to a Hickory Police accident report, Walker was traveling through the intersection of U.S. 321 NW and Seventh Avenue NW around 2:30 a.m. on Friday. The report said he ran the red light as he turned left on to the highway from Seventh Avenue NW, collided with a vehicle and continued on to U.S. 321.

No injuries were reported.

Walker was arrested 45 minutes later in Granite Falls without incident, according to the arrest report.

Walker was listed as being a deputy with the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office on the arrest report. Catawba County Sheriff Don Brown said Walker was fired later on that day.

“We have zero tolerance for this,” Sheriff Brown said. “We will message to our employees that this is not acceptable.”

Brown added that Walker worked as an officer at the Catawba County Detention Center.

Walker was also charged with carrying a concealed weapon while consuming alcohol, but Brown said that was his own personal weapon. The firearm was not a police-issued handgun, Brown said.

Chrystal Dieter, community services coordinator for the Hickory Police Department, said no law enforcement vehicles were involved in the traffic accident.

Walker is the second Catawba County deputy to be charged with DWI in 2021.

Deputy Michael T. Watkins was charged with driving while impaired on June 3 following a single-vehicle wreck. Watkins was driving a patrol vehicle, but was not on duty, according to a previous Hickory Daily Record article. Watkins was fired from his position.

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