CMPD: 30-Minute Police Chase That Started In Gaston County Resulted In Crashes, Officer Hurt

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A man trying to elude capture led police officers on a chase that included three crashes, a stolen police car and an officer being dragged with his own vehicle, authorities said Thursday.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said the series of events covered just under a half-hour on Wednesday, beginning with reports of an armed robbery at an AT&T store in Gastonia.

Police said the chase was initially called off when the driver began driving the wrong way in traffic. According police accounts, the unidentified suspect drove northbound in the southbound lanes on Interstate 77 before crashing into a guardrail on an exit.

Police said the suspect ran from the vehicle into an apartment complex, nearby the Northlake Mall, in north Charlotte. A Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer encountered the man, who overpowered him and stole the marked CMPD vehicle. The man drove off and dragged the officer until he crashed into a parked car at the apartment complex, police said, adding that the officer sustained minor injuries.

The suspect then drove the police SUV onto the intersection of Northlake and West Boulevard, where he hit a civilian vehicle, whose passenger was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries, police said.

The series of incidents ended when the injured suspect surrendered after crashing the police SUV, authorities said.