Man, woman arrested following car chase in Hickory - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Man, woman arrested following car chase in Hickory

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HICKORY, NC (WBTV) -

Police have arrested a man who they say led deputies in Catawba County on a high speed chase on Wednesday, then escaped on foot in a wooded area.

James Brannon Smith, 35, was arrested by Boone Police Officers Monday at the Red Carpet Inn on Highway 321.

The woman Smith was with, Erin Shell, was arrested late Wednesday night.

Police in Hickory say the two are the same duo who exchanged gunfire with police during a chase in May.

The incident Wednesday started when a deputy pulled over an F-250 truck that he believed had been stolen on Monday in Catawba County. As he prepared to approach the stopped vehicle, it took off.

The deputy sped after it and even followed it through a wheat field when it turned off of Highway 10 near Finger Bridge Road.  

The wheat field caught fire and several acres burned.

The cars continued the chase into a local neighborhood where Kimberly Clark was walking up to her home.

"I seen em pull onto my street then go that way then that way and then I lost em," she said.

Clark said it appeared the vehicles were going fast and said it was lucky that no children were out playing.  

The suspect vehicle turned down a side road then turned onto a logging type road where a man and a woman who were inside jumped out and ran.

Deputies along with Highway Patrol Troopers and Hickory City Police officers combed the wooded area but did not find the pair.

Sheriff Coy Reid says it is possible that the suspects used a cell phone and called for help and got a ride out of the area before law enforcement was there in full force.

By late afternoon, the search had been scaled back, but patrols had been beefed up. "We will keep looking for them," Reid said Wednesday. 

Later that day Shell was arrested, and officials asked the public to be on the lookout for Smith.

Smith was wanted on numerous felony warrants from multiple law enforcement agencies. A full list of the charges he is facing has not been released.

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