CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - During a nearly 30-minute incident, a suspect crashed three times, stole a police car and dragged a police officer during a chase in Charlotte Wednesday night, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say.
The chase involved a single suspect wanted for armed robbery out of Gaston County who was pursued by on-duty CMPD officers.
Police say an AT&T store in Gaston County was robbed at gunpoint by a man earlier Wednesday evening.
CMPD officers located the suspect vehicle near Remount Road/Brookhill Road. When officers attempted to stop the suspect, he refused and led police on a chase starting around 8 p.m.
The suspect drove northbound in the southbound lanes, against traffic, on I-77. CMPD says officers stopped the chase very quickly when it became obvious that the danger to the public was too great.
The suspect continued to drive on I-77 all the way to the E. W.T. Harris Boulevard Exit. Just before the exit, the suspect crashed into a guardrail. No other vehicles were involved in the first crash.
After the first crash, the suspect ran from the vehicle into an apartment complex near the exit ramp, the Perimeter Lofts Apartments located on Perimeter Station Drive, across from North Lake Mall.
A CMPD helicopter was overhead and was tracking the suspect. An on-duty CMPD Canine Officer came into the parking lot and encountered the suspect.
The suspect was able to overpower the officer during a brief struggle and stole the marked CMPD vehicle.
The K-9 (dog) was not in the vehicle as he was already out of the SUV in the parking lot. The officer was dragged as the suspect drove off.
While in the parking lot of the apartment complex, the suspect, driving the CMPD vehicle, crashed into an unoccupied parked car about 50-75 feet away.
The officer being dragged by the suspect was thrown free when this crash took place. The officer suffered minor injuries.
The suspect then drove out of the lot, and while still driving the CMPD SUV, struck a civilian vehicle at the intersection with Northlake West Boulevard,
One man was in the civilian vehicle, and was taken by MEDIC to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The civilian vehicle received major damage during this crash.
The suspect then drove the out-of-control CMPD car off the road and into some woods down a steep embankment. This vehicle received extensive damage as well.
The suspect then surrendered without further incident and has been taken to the hospital by MEDIC with non-life-threatening injuries.
The entire incident lasted for approximately 28 minutes.
Officials have not released the suspect’s name and have not provided info on charges.