A 21-year-old man was arrested Friday after an early-morning chase with Matthews police that led to the officer’s car running off the road and hitting a tree.
Mark Cornell Hardin of Charlotte was charged with careless and reckless driving and felony fleeing to avoid arrest.
Authorities are searching for a second person who was inside the vehicle with Hardin.
The Matthews Police Department said two of its officers were working a surveillance detail about midnight when they approached a suspicious vehicle parked at a Kangaroo Express gas station on East John Street.
The officers were in an unmarked vehicle, police said, but identified themselves as officers as they approached the 2003 Mazda. At that point, police said, the driver of the vehicle sped off.
The officers pursued the vehicle, turning on their blue lights and siren. At one point, one of the two people in the suspect vehicle threw a gun out the window, police said.
Police said the wreck occurred as the officers tried to make a turn onto Beverly Crest Drive. The police vehicle left the road and struck a tree.
The two officers were treated for minor scrapes and bruises at Presbyterian Hospital and released.
Police said the chase did not exceed 65 mph.