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Six officers treated after small explosion at Burlington hotel; Roxboro man arrested

Posted December 6, 2014

Don Hershel Winstead
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— Burlington authorities evacuated a Motel Six late Friday after a small explosion occurred in a room where officers were attempting to serve an arrest warrant on a Roxboro man.

Officers went to the hotel, at 2155 Hanford Road, at about 9:30 p.m. to serve an arrest warrant on 27-year-old Don Hershel Winstead.

While they were inside Room 322, officers discovered suspicious items that they believed were related to drug activity. While testing the materials with a narcotics test kit, a small explosion occurred.

The officer conducting the test sustained eye injuries, and other officers in the room at the time of the explosion were exposed to an unknown substance, officials said.

Officers arrested Winstead following the explosion and used a shower in an adjoining room to begin self-decontamination. Six officers and Winstead were taken to the emergency room at Alamance Regional Medical Center, where they were decontaminated.

Officials from the Burlington Fire Department evacuated the hotel shortly after the explosion, and most patrons were relocated to a nearby church.

Winstead was charged with eight counts of identity theft, felony probation violation, a noise violation, possession of stolen goods and possession of marijuana.

No other information about the explosion has been released. WFMY reported that a portion of Hanford Road remained closed overnight. It's unclear when the hotel will be reopened.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is assisting the Burlington Police Department in an ongoing investigation.


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