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4 in custody after south Charlotte police pursuit

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr. and Steve Lyttle
cwootson@charlotteobserver.com
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/09/24/15/52/wNtpX.Em.138.jpeg|467
    DAVIE HINSHAW - THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER
    Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police and North Carolina Highway Patrol officers on scene at Colony Acres Drive where a pursuit ended with the capture and arrest of four suspects, Tuesday Sep. 24, 2013. The search for suspects in the case appeared to be continuing at 2:30 p.m., as police officers were searching a house off Nations Ford Road. The pursuit ended on Colony Acres Drive at Stonepost Drive. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Capt. Jeff Estes said police were pursuing an SUV carrying several people, in connection with an investigation into a breaking-and-entering case in the Independence Division. The pursuit began in the area near State Street and Tuckaseegee Road, according to police. The N.C. Highway Patrol joined CMPD in the pursuit. Police activity led to a lockdown at nearby Nations Ford Elementary School. At one point, according to police radio reports, the fleeing vehicle slammed into an air conditioning unit at the side of a house. Several men reportedly jumped from the vehicle and fled. Estes said four men were captured, but police activity continued in the neighborhood afterward. DAVIE HINSHAW - dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/09/24/15/52/EtlmA.Em.138.jpeg|292
    DAVIE HINSHAW - THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER
    Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police and North Carolina Highway Patrol officers on scene at Colony Acres Drive where a pursuit ended with the capture and arrest of four suspects, Tuesday Sep. 24, 2013. The search for suspects in the case appeared to be continuing at 2:30 p.m., as police officers were searching a house off Nations Ford Road. The pursuit ended on Colony Acres Drive at Stonepost Drive. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Capt. Jeff Estes said police were pursuing an SUV carrying several people, in connection with an investigation into a breaking-and-entering case in the Independence Division. The pursuit began in the area near State Street and Tuckaseegee Road, according to police. The N.C. Highway Patrol joined CMPD in the pursuit. Police activity led to a lockdown at nearby Nations Ford Elementary School. At one point, according to police radio reports, the fleeing vehicle slammed into an air conditioning unit at the side of a house. Several men reportedly jumped from the vehicle and fled. Estes said four men were captured, but police activity continued in the neighborhood afterward. DAVIE HINSHAW - dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/09/24/15/52/1iAvc1.Em.138.jpeg|272
    DAVIE HINSHAW - THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER
    Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police and North Carolina Highway Patrol officers on scene at Colony Acres Drive where a pursuit ended with the capture and arrest of four suspects, Tuesday Sep. 24, 2013.

Four burglary suspects were arrested Tuesday afternoon after a high-speed chase that ended with a crash in a south Charlotte neighborhood, authorities said.

The final moments of the chase were watched by wary neighbors in the Colony Acres neighborhood, who saw police cars chase a black SUV over speed bumps in their community located near where Interstate 77 meets Nations Ford Road.

Neighbors said the chase through their community exceeded speeds of 50 mph, twice the posted speed limit.

Early Tuesday, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police investigators were looking into a series of burglaries in east Charlotte. At some point, they asked law enforcement officers in the area to be on the lookout for a black SUV.

Police say they tried to stop the SUV, but the driver wouldn’t pull over. They then notified the Highway Patrol about the SUV’s location. When the vehicle wouldn’t stop for troopers, they gave chase in the area near State Street and Tuckaseegee Road, according to police.

As the SUV sped through Charlotte, police said in a statement, “several passengers in the vehicle jumped and ran from the vehicle at various locations.” The suspects who jumped out were arrested by CMPD officers.

Homicide detectives were also investigating a report that a suspect fired a gun at officers during the chase. No one was hurt and police didn’t return fire.

At some point, the Ford Explorer turned into the Colony Acres neighborhood. Neighbors said one of the suspects arrested grew up in the community, but police haven’t confirmed that detail.

The SUV, followed by a Highway Patrol cruiser, went past Thomas Rush’s house twice. He ran outside when he heard the police sirens.

The driver “just missed that car,” Rush said, pointing to a red Ford Mustang parked near a speed bump. “My daughter jumped up and said “Ooh, Dad, they’re going to crash.’ Then they came back around. It was like NASCAR.”

The vehicle chase ended when the SUV went up a driveway, missed hitting a house and side-swiped an air conditioning unit. At least one suspect got out of the car and ran.

Aliyah Watson told the Observer’s news partner, NBC Charlotte, that officers sent a police dog into a house the man ran into, then about 20 police officers armed with rifles and handguns went into the house.

The police activity led to a lockdown at nearby Nations Ford Elementary School. No children were injured.

Wootson: 704-358-5046 Twitter: @CleveWootson
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