Northampton County Sheriff Jack Smith said Kylen Padgett Jr., a probation absconder, was first taken for treatment for what he described as a non life-threatening injury after falling approximately 10 feet.
Padgett had been moving around on steel beams inside the Enviva plant outside Garysburg since around 6:30 a.m. Monday before falling. Smith said Padgett was taken to the hospital around 11 p.m., treated and then taken to the county jail.
The sheriff said Padgett will be charged locally with resisting arrest. He faces a first-degree kidnapping charge from New Hanover County for forcing a truck driver headed to Enviva to give him a ride.
Smith the truck driver told law enforcement Padgett reportedly had a gun. A weapon, however, has not been recovered from the Enviva storage facility.
The episode, which began around 3:15 Monday morning when the truck driver arrived at the plant, brought production to a halt.
Smith said he talked with the plant manager this morning. “He’s happy because they can go back to work full steam ahead.”
Padgett is expected to return to New Hanover with the next couple of days, the sheriff said.
Motive behind the episode, other than Padgett being an absconder, is unclear.
Smith said deputies and investigators on scene used caution while dealing with Padgett. “We didn’t want him to get hurt and we didn’t want officers to get hurt.”
Smith said he was surprised Padgett didn’t fall sooner as he navigated the storage facility on 8 to 10-inch steel beams. “The way he was moving around, one mistake would have killed him easily.”