‘Observant’ officers make arrest

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 29, 2005

AHOSKIE – It pays to be observant.

Ahoskie Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh praised two of his officers – Sgt. Michelle Garrett and Patrolman Andre Snate – for the role they played in an arrest here earlier this week.

Roger Berstion Askew, 22, of Colerain was arrested Tuesday following a short foot chase. He was charged with larceny of a license plate, misdemeanor possession of stolen property and resist, delay and obstruct. Askew was taken to the Hertford County Jail under a $5,000 secured bond.

The incident unfolded when Sgt. Garrett and Snate were on routine patrol on Catherine Creek Road. As they turned onto Staton Avenue, the officers noticed a 1994 Dodge.

&uot;Everything was normal until the Dodge turned into a private driveway,&uot; noted Chief Fitzhugh. &uot;That was normal as well, but the driver exited the vehicle and instead of going into the house, he headed to the west side of the residence and disappeared.&uot;

Thinking that to be odd, especially considering that a person had exited the residence just after the vehicle had pulled into the driveway, the officers decided to further investigate.

&uot;If the driver and the person coming out of the home were friends or acquaintances, you would expect some type of interaction between them,&uot; Fitzhugh said. &uot;But there was no interaction and when the driver slipped around the side of the home, my officers figured he was trying to hide from them and just picked this particular residence to do so.&uot;

The officers circled the block, attempting to locate the driver, thinking he was attempting to slip from their sight. In the meantime, they had called in the plate number on the Dodge. The report came back as a stolen tag, one actually bearing a registration to a 2000 Pontiac.

Armed with that information, the officers came back to the Staton Ave. residence, just in time to see the Dodge backing out of the driveway. In an attempt to stop the vehicle, the officers activated the blue light on their patrol car. The suspect vehicle stopped, but the driver quickly exited and attempted to flee.

Fitzhugh said the officers were able to overtake Askew after a short foot chase. He was arrested without further incident.

&uot;I commend these two officers from being observant and waiting this one out,&uot; Fitzhugh stated. &uot;They could have routinely passed this one by, but when the driver got out of the vehicle and went around the side of the residence, it raised a red flag. The officers used their skills well.&uot;