Bobby Lee Johnson was charged with felony larceny of motor vehicle and felony flee to elude arrest after stealing a police car and leading officers on a high speed chase. (Source: Elizabethtown PD)
While in the vehicle, Johnson was able to lock the doors and get into the driver's seat. Officers attempted to gain access to the vehicle; however Johnson managed to drive away. (Source: WECT)
ELIZABETHTOWN, NC (WECT) -
A man was taken into custody after reportedly stealing an Elizabethtown Police car and leading officials on a high-speed chase through several counties Sunday.
According to Chief of Police Robert Kinlaw with the Elizabethtown Police Department, an Elizabethtown officer observed a seat belt violation on Martin Luther King Drive around 10:55 a.m.
The officer activated his lights and pulled the man over in Bo's Food Store parking lot and asked for his identification for the seatbelt violation.
The man only gave the officer a name, and while the officer was checking the name in his computer, the suspect ran away to a wooded area.
Elizabethtown Police and Bladen County Sheriff's Department officers located the man in the wooded area and placed him under arrest. It was then determined that the suspect had given officers a fake name.
Officers identified the suspect as 23-year-old Bobby Lee Johnson and found that he had an outstanding felony probation warrant.
Johnson was handcuffed in the front of his body and placed in the front passenger seat of an Elizabethtown Police vehicle.
According to Chief Kinlaw, the handcuff policy at the Elizabethtown Police Department typically requires a suspect to be handcuffed behind their back. The suspects are, however, placed in the front seat of the vehicle because the police cars do not have cages in the back.
While in the vehicle, Johnson was able to lock the doors and get into the driver's seat. Officers attempted to gain access to the vehicle; however, Johnson managed to drive away.
Officers with Elizabethtown Police and Bladen County Sheriff's Office pursued the vehicle to Clarkton, then to Bladenboro, and then into Columbus County.
Once into Columbus County, the pursuit was taken over by North Carolina State Highway Patrol and Columbus County Sheriff's Office.
The chase ultimately came to an end when troopers successfully performed a pit maneuver that landed the car in a ditch near Chadbourn. Officers then took Johnson into custody.
Elizabethtown Police charged Johnson with felony larceny of motor vehicle, felony flee to elude arrest, misdemeanor give fictitious information to officer, misdemeanor resist arrest, misdemeanor injury to personal property, outstanding warrant for felony probation violation.