Crime & Courts

2 charged in separate Lenoir police pursuits

Police say they have charged two men in connection with a pair of unrelated pursuits that took place over a 90-minute span Friday morning.

No serious injuries were reported in the two cases.

The first was reported about 9:30 a.m., when an officer spotted a speeding red Nissan go through a red light at Harper Avenue and Virginia Street. the officer tried to stop the vehicle, using his blue lights and siren, but authorities said the driver did not stop.

Police said the driver turned from Harper Avenue onto southbound Fairview Drive, then went off the road, hit utility police guide wires, and the vehicle overturned.

The driver, identified as Nathaniel Jawon Norwood, of Lenoir, was taken to Caldwell Memorial Hospital but released a short time later. He was charged with nine traffic violations, including felony fleeing to elude, police said.

Investigators said a passenger in the car, Martha Craig, was the registered owner of the vehicle and was charged with allowing an unlicensed driver to drive.

Police allege that shortly before the officer spotted the car going through the red light, the same vehicle was involved in a hit-and-run crash on Poplar Street. Norwood was jailed under $30,000 bond.

As police were working to clear that case, a Lenoir officer spotted a black 1987 Toyota Supra at the corner of Civic Court and Fairview Drive about 11 a.m. The officer noticed that the car had been spray-painted and was similar to a white 1987 Supra reported stolen July 24.

After determining that the license tag on the car was revoked, the officer tried to stop the vehicle. Police said the vehicle sped away, with the officer in pursuit initially. Lenoir police backed off, as is departmental policy, and allowed the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office and the N.C. Highway Patrol to take over.

The car left the city limits on Connelly Springs Road, and state troopers deployed stop sticks on the road. Police said the car hit the sticks and traveled another quarter-mile before stopping. The driver then ran off, but sheriff’s deputies were able to catch him minutes later.

The suspect was identified as David Lee Gross, 25, of Connelly Springs.

He was charged with felony fleeing to elude, and police said he also will be charged with auto larceny and possession of stolen goods. Authorities said Gross also was charged with 10 traffic-related violations and with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. He was jailed under $100,000 bond.