GASTON COUNTY, N.C. -- A Gaston County man is facing charges of attempted first-degree murder following a drunken incident that escalated to a person being struck by a car, police say.
Gaston County Police were called out to Laura's Video in the 4000 block of Kings Mountain Highway in reference to an intoxicated individual who was refusing to leave the premises.
While officers were en route to the scene, the call was upgraded to assault.
Gaston County Police say the co-owner of the video store escorted Robert Keith Bland to his vehicle and suggested that he leave the premises. Then, police say the victim, Herbert Bartz, was struck from behind by the Bland's vehicle.
"The only thing I believe saved my life, was being as tall as I am. Being 6'7, his bumper hit me lower, which tossed me on his hood and off his hood. If I had been a little bit shorter, I would have gone underneath the vehicle," Bartz said.
Bland fled the scene, authorities say, but was later captured in Cleveland County where he was charged with DWI.
Bland was charged in Gaston County for attempted first-degree murder. He was booked in to the Gaston County Jail under a $750,000 bond.
Bartz says in the 17 years he has ran the store, he has never had trouble like this. After the near-deadly encounter, he plans to change how he handles similar situations.
"I will not turn my back on, even somebody who seems harmless as he was at the time."
Authorities say Bland has previous DWI, assault and drunk and disruptive convictions.
The victim, Bartz, was taken to CMC where he was treated and released.