‘I called 911, and he drove off’ — Man sparks NC chase by spotting stolen truck

‘I called 911, and he drove off’ — Man sparks NC chase by spotting stolen truck
(Source: CBS North Carolina)
(Source: CBS North Carolina)

GARNER, NC (WNCN) — Authorities say the man who used a stolen pickup truck to ram several vehicles, including a Johnston County Sheriff's Office cruiser, before fleeing on foot Tuesday could be armed and dangerous.

Deputies believe Jody Spurling, a 40-year-old released from an Alabama prison last year, was driving a stolen company truck when it was spotted by one of the company's employees.

According to an incident report, Spurling took guns and ammunition as well as the truck in the initial theft.

"I always look around at all my surroundings," said Cosmas Prince.

Tuesday night, Prince had his eyes open for the red truck that had been stolen from his co-worker's driveway last week.

So when he saw a similar-looking vehicle in a parking lot, he stopped to check it out.

"I was kind of between the driver's-side door and the windshield, and I kind of just tried to look inside," Prince said. "Well, the driver, he sat up, so I believe that's the guy that stole the truck. He looked at me, I called 911, and he drove off."

Prince also managed to snap a photo of the truck as it left the parking lot.

"I didn't really know what to expect, I just knew that it was our truck, and I knew we'd been looking for it," he said.

The man whose driveway the truck was stolen from drove to the area, spotted the truck at a Speedway gas station at about 7:15 p.m. and alerted authorities.

As the driver of the stolen truck fled, he struck a deputy's cruiser and hit the vehicle of the man it was stolen from several times, authorities said.

He got as far as the parking lot of the Pizza Inn, where he hit another vehicle. At that point, he got out and started running, deputies said.

Deputies say Spurling could be armed and dangerous. If deputies catch him, he'll face a charge of assault with a deadly weapon on a government official.

He's also wanted in Alabama on a felony parole violation.

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol and the Wake County Sheriff's Office are assisting in the hunt for Spurling.

Law enforcement officials are asking anyone who knows where he is to call the Johnston County Sheriff's Office at (919) 989-5000 or dial 911.