RANDOLPH COUNTY — On the anniversary of the death of a Randolph County Sheriff’s deputy, the department recognized Toney Summey, who died in the line of duty 18 years ago.
Social media users, including representatives of the sheriff’s office, paid tribute to whom they described as a valuable member of the department who died while serving warrants in the eastern part of the county. Summey was 41 years old at the time of his death.
“We remember Deputy Sheriff Toney Clayton Summey of the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office,” the statement read. “His sacrifice on April 27, 2003 will be always remembered, never forgotten.”
On April 27, 2003, Summey was serving warrants on Alexander Charles Polke for a domestic dispute. During a confrontation at a private residence, a struggle between Summey and Polke ended when Polke shot Summey three times.
Dep. Nathan Hollingsworth was shot once by the individual. Despite the wound, Hollingsworth continued to struggle with the suspect and returned fire as he got back to his patrol car to call for backup. The suspect finally surrendered when a third deputy arrived on the scene.
Polke is awaiting execution on death row at Central Prison in Raleigh, according to the North Carolina Department of Safety. Summey was survived by a wife and two children.
The Randolph County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously in 2018 to approve a resolution to designate the U.S. 64 bridge that crosses the Uwharrie River in honor of Summey. Then-Randolph County Sheriff Robert Graves requested the commissioners adopt the resolution to name Bridge No. 33, located over the Uwharrie River, in honor of Summey.
A staple of the annual “Blessing of the Badges” ceremony in Randolph County, which honors those killed or disabled in the line of duty, Summey is considered an example for all law enforcement officials. His sacrifice and that of his family has prompted many in the community to offer stories of how the incident impacted them.
Summey’s son, Andrew, would go on to become a RCSO deputy.
Staff writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 336-888-3578, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.