Sam Kellery

Sam Keller, center, is flanked by bail bondsmen with Atlas Bail Bonds in Morganton on either side after he was brought in Wednesday. Keller spent nine weeks on Burke County's most wanted list.

A man learned the hard way why taunting the police on social media isn’t a good idea.

Samuel Lee Keller, 21, was picked up on charges of felony breaking and/or entering, felony larceny, and misdemeanor resisting a public officer, according to court records. Assault inflicting serious bodily injury; strangulation, two failures to appear and three probation violations also stud the list of charges Keller is being held on, according to the Burke County Police to Citizen website.

Since May, Keller has been taunting Morganton Department of Public Safety by tagging the agency’s Facebook page in posts, telling them to come and get him and claiming to be in France.

In a post last week, Keller said he was staying in Colorado, and that the rest of the country was fine with him.

“Funny how the rest of this country is fine with me but you guys have to harrass (sic) people and lied all because you’re mad I’m not in a county you can get to me,” the post said.

But Wednesday, Charles Orwig, Darlene and David Wiley, Johnny McLaughlin and Chris Warren with Atlas Bail Bonds in Morganton found Keller hiding under a chaise lounge.

“I thought that he was going to be a bigger issue than what he was,” Orwig said. “I found him hiding under a chaise lounge … when I said ‘alright, let’s go, get out of there,’ he stood up and complied with every command and even started to cry a little bit.”

Keller had been in Colorado for some time, but that’s not where he was found.

“We found him over here in Burke County, and this was after he was taunting law enforcement, telling them that he was in France and stuff, telling them that he was over there,” Orwig said. “He was definitely in Colorado for a little bit, and he was on his way back here when he got his ticket in Kansas.”

When Keller was first bonded out, Orwig said it was a $59,000 bond for assault with a deadly weapon, probation violation, assault on a female and communicating threats.

MDPS Capt. Jason Whisnant said taunts are something police deal with on a regular basis.

“Bless his heart,” Whisnant said. “We are verbally abused and taunted on a regular basis. We put on our big boy/girl pants and work through it. Although, when you taunt and use potty language toward the police, it brings more attention to you. It seems like a wanted person would lay low and stay off social media.”

Whisnant said MDPS hopes Keller moves past this.

“Regardless, we hope he is able to answer for that which he is accused and becomes a productive member of society,” Whisnant said.

Keller is being held under a $252,000 total secured bond, according to the Burke County Police to Citizen website. A clerk of court official said he should appear in court Friday.

Chrissy Murphy is a staff writer and can be reached at cmurphy@morganton.com or at 828-432-8941. Follow @cmurphyMNH on Twitter.

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