Report backs Cornelius police in July 12 pursuit

A final review from Cornelius police of the July 12 pursuit of a suspect that resulted in two crashes and eight injuries says officers operated within proper guidelines.

The report, issued this week by Cornelius police, was in response to a pursuit that began on Interstate 77, moved into Iredell County, and then back into Mecklenburg County. Cornelius police and the N.C. Highway Patrol pursued the suspect, Jeffrey Wayne Greene, for 17 miles.

The pursuit ended at Statesville Road and Rich Hatchet Road, when police said Greene’s SUV crashed into two vehicles. A third vehicle then slammed into the wreck, police said.

Greene and five others were hurt in that collision. One victim, a woman, suffered serious injuries but is recovering. In addition, two Cornelius police officers were injured when their patrol car allegedly was hit by Greene’s vehicle on U.S. 21 in Iredell County, earlier in the pursuit.

In the report from Cornelius police, officials said officers had reason to pursue Greene.

“We had many outstanding warrants issued by various judges in courts of different jurisdictions, as well as a warrant from out of state,” the report said. “In addition, the N.C. Department of Probation and Parole had issued an absconder notice for this individual.”

At the time, police said they approached Greene at a Days Inn off Catawba Avenue because he had outstanding warrants from Lincoln and York counties, plus the absconder notice from the state probation system.

The report also said police did not use excessive speed during the pursuit.

“At no time during the pursuit while officers were engaged did the suspect reach speeds that would be considered extreme for a police pursuit,” the report said. “And there were no actions, such as an attempted ramming or blocking maneuver by CPD, that could be construed as to have caused the suspect to suddenly accelerate.”

“The suspect, by his own decision to flee and his disregard for safety in the final seconds of the pursuit, is responsible for the crash,” the report added.