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ODMP Remembers...

Deputy Sheriff William Erastus Yancey County Sheriff's Office, North Carolina

Deputy Sheriff

William Erastus "Bud" Tow

Yancey County Sheriff's Office, North Carolina

End of Watch: Thursday, June 13, 1940

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 59

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Military veteran

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Offender: Sentenced to 30 years

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Deputy Sheriff Bud Tow was shot and killed while riding with a posse searching for a fugitive in the Swiss Community, southeast of Burnsville.

The subject approached Deputy Tow from behind and opened fire, striking him in the back and legs multiple times. The man was arrested and sentenced to 25 to 30 years in prison.

Two years into his sentence he severely wounded a prison camp guard during an escape. He remained at large for five years until being arrested in Tennessee by the FBI. He was returned to North Carolina in 1947 to face charges related to the escape and wounding of the guard.

Deputy Tow was a U.S. Army veteran of the Spanish-American War. He was survived by his wife and five children.

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We must always remember and honor our fallen servants. Thank you for your service to your family, community and country.

Lori Holcombe Harvey
Great granddaughter of Bud Towe
December 26, 2015


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