Teen faces numerous charges

Published 6:38 pm Monday, October 6, 2008

GATESVILLE – A Gates County teen is facing a laundry list of charges after a failed attempt to escape the long arm of the law.

According to records on file at the Gates County Clerk of Court’s office, Joshua Warren, 17, was arrested late last month after leading officers from four different law enforcement agencies on a wild chase. At one stage of the pursuit, Warren fired shots into the air over the head of one Gates County Deputy Sheriff.

Warren was jailed on the charges of speeding, fleeing to elude arrest, possession of a stolen firearm, larceny of a firearm, assault by pointing a gun, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, reckless driving, failure to heed blue light and siren, failure to stop at a stop sign/flashing red light, resisting a public officer and go armed to the terror of the public.

Gates County Sheriff Ed Webb said the incident began with a call concerning a family dispute. Gates County Deputy Bryan Johnson answered that call, reporting that he heard gunfire coming from that residence upon arrival.

Webb said a subject, later identified as Warren, took a vehicle from the yard of the residence and attempted to elude Deputy Johnson. The lawman pursued the subject prior to the vehicle coming to a stop at a residence in the Roduco community. There, Deputy Johnson approached Warren, who had a weapon drawn and then fired several shots over the lawman’s head.

“Although Deputy Johnson had his service revolver drawn, he did not return fire,” Sheriff Webb said.

Now joined by Gates County Sheriff’s Sgt. Randy Hathaway, the two lawmen became involved in another vehicle chase of Warren who had fled from the Roduco residence. That chase was confined to roads in or near the Gates community.

Lawmen with the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office and a North Carolina State Highway Patrol Trooper then joined the chase.

“We made several attempts to get out in front of the vehicle which Warren was operating in an effort to deploy stop sticks (a device capable of puncturing tires), but because Mr. Warren kept turning on different roads, we could never safely attempt that,” Webb said.

The vehicle chase ended when State Trooper Glenn Bunch was able to perform a PIT (Precision Immobilization Technique) maneuver, causing Warren’s vehicle to safely spin out.

“But he still tried to elude arrest by running on foot,” Webb noted. “Plus he was still armed at that time.”

After a foot chase, Trooper Bunch, Sgt. Hathaway and Gates County Probation and Parole Officer David Brown were able to place Warren under arrest.

“The key thing was that no one was hurt…the suspect, the officers nor the innocent public,” Sheriff Webb said. “I commend my officers for the patience they showed in making this arrest. I also thank the assistance of the Hertford County Sheriff’s deputies and Trooper Bunch.”

Bunch’s superior officer, NCHP First Sgt. Todd Lane, also praised the actions of his trooper.

“He did an outstanding job with the PIT maneuver, resulting in little or no damage to either vehicle,” Lane said. “The teamwork displayed between the agencies involved in this incident resulted in a hazardous offender being removed from the highway without causing any danger to the motoring public.”

Sgt. Lane concluded by saying, “All the officers involved used great restraint in a very tense situation. Due to their extensive training, these officers were able to resolve this incident without having to use force and cause injury to the suspect.”