Hours-long high-speed chase in south Charlotte ends in crash, driver in custody
The suspect stole a total of four vehicles
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – A police chase through the south Charlotte area ended in a crash Wednesday afternoon after more than an hour.
According to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police, this started as a breaking-and-entering call where a Jeep was stolen.
After that, the suspect stole three additional vehicles and drove erratically through multiple parts of Charlotte. The last vehicle was stolen after the suspect crashed into another car at an intersection.
The chase ended when that stolen black SUV crashed into another vehicle. Police then took the driver of that SUV into custody.
“I realized somebody’s in my car and I went running to try and stop it and it took off,” Kary Ann Curtis, the owner of the SUV, said. “I would just like to know why he would risk so many innocent lives in something so careless of like the high-speed chase and driving through the streets he was on.? You know kids, elderly, families, could’ve been deeply impacted.”
The suspect is currently at the hospital with injuries and will be booked at the Mecklenburg County Detention Center once released. He is facing multiple charges, according to CMPD chief Johnny Jennings. Those will include auto theft, hit-and-run, residential burglary and possibly more.
“This is absolutely appalling that someone would have this much disregard for the general public,” Jennings said. “The CMPD pursuit policy prohibited us from chasing this suspect up until the point when the suspect carjacked the last vehicle, not knowing if an abduction had taken place. In these situations, police are in a no-win situation. While this subject poses danger to the public, a police pursuit could have escalated that danger.”
Jennings says they were able to keep up with the suspect through aviation and media coverage and CMPD regularly takes a look at whether the pursuit policy needs to be updated.
Each of the auto thefts that happened, none of them involved him pulling a weapon out on a person or pulling them out of the vehicle, Jennings added.
He also said police attempted to use stop sticks multiple times but didn’t want to put blue lights and cop cars behind the suspect at first because they believe it would’ve escalated the situation and made it more dangerous.
“We have to weigh the options on if we pursue this individual,” Jennings said.
He said they have to weigh what is the most dangerous to the public and that they followed the pursuit policy precisely.
“Regardless of what we do, we know at the very end of it there will be skeptics and critics,” Jennings said.
It is unknown at this time if there are any injuries in connection with this chase. A woman who was in the first vehicle is also facing charges.
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