CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A 21-year-old has been identified as the driver that led police on a chase that started in Charlotte and ended in South Carolina Thursday, Chief Deputy Robert Sprouse said with the Chester County Sheriff's Office.
According to the Chester County Sheriff's Office, Jabari Raekwon Johnson was arrested for leading deputies on a chase in a stolen vehicle. Johnson was charged with failure to stop for blue lights, possession of a stolen vehicle, having no South Carolina driver's license and reckless driving.
During his appearance in bond court, Johnson told the Judge he didn't know how much bond he could afford.
"Financially I'm not really sure because I just buried my grandmother and we had to pay out of pocket to bury grandmother. I don't know what financially I can do," he said. "I don't have enough in my pocket to call anybody."
"I understand I have made wrong decisions and I live with that," Johnson added. "I'm not denying anything. I have to live down what I did but at the same token just need a little bit of help and I can't even get the help right now."
Deputies say two other occupants in the vehicle are juveniles who have been turned over to juvenile justice authorities.
The incident began around 3:06 p.m. Thursday when Charlotte officers spotted a vehicle with a stolen tag on Tyvola Road at South Boulevard. The officers attempted to stop the vehicle, but Johnson allegedly refused and a police helicopter was called in, deputies said.
The Chester County Sheriff's Office said Johnson was headed into Chester County from Charlotte. Officers soon learned that the vehicle was reportedly used in an armed robbery. At that point, officers began pursuing the vehicle.
Deputies spotted the vehicle traveling on Lancaster Highway near Lewisville Middle School at a high rate of speed, according to the Chester County Sheriff's Office. The sheriff's office said they attempted to stop the vehicle, but Johnson reportedly failed to stop and continued speeding.
Deputies said Johnson continued towards Interstate 77 when he then got off on exit 65 northbound towards Rock Hill. There, WBTV's Sky3 was over the scene when Johnson side-swiped another car, lost control and came to rest on the right side of the interstate.
Johnson fled the scene on foot and ran into nearby woods, deputies said. Two other occupants in the car were taken into custody, according to the sheriff's office.
Johnson was apprehended in the woods off of J S Gaston Road and Highway 901, according to the sheriff's office.
Deputies said Johnson was taken to the Chester County Detention Center. Alcohol and drugs are not factors in this chase, the police report said.
Judge Yale Zamore told Johnson he wouldn't deny bond but he would set a high bond because of the circumstances in the case.
"What I have to consider is the danger to the community, to yourself, to your passengers, to law enforcement that was posed from what happened" Judge Zamore said.
Johnson was given more than $200,000 in bond, including $100,000 each for the possession of stolen vehicle and failure to stop for blue lights.