Lawmen led on two-state chase

Published 9:14 am Tuesday, April 14, 2009

SUNBURY – A Virginia woman discovered the hard way that police officers do not take kindly to those attempting to outrun the long arm of the law.

Tanya D. Inkenbrandt, 38, of 20th Bay Street, Norfolk, faces charges in two states, including vehicle theft, after a failed attempt to elude arrest finally ended in Sunbury on Monday morning.

Gates County Sheriff Ed Webb said the chase originated in Chowan County.

“My officers assisted the Chowan deputies,” Webb said. “My Chief Deputy (Billy Spruill) deployed stop sticks (a device capable of puncturing vehicle tires) when the vehicle passed through Gates County the first time around. When it came back the second time, two of my guys – Sgt. Randy Hathaway and Deputy Darrell Brown – were able to put out the stop sticks and get the back tires.”

On both occasions, the suspect vehicle – a Ford mini van reported as stolen in Pasquotank County – used NC 32 to travel through Gates County.

Chowan County Sheriff Dwayne Goodwin said one of his deputies first spotted the vehicle traveling erratically and at a high rate of speed on US 17 shortly before 6 a.m.

“The vehicle turned onto NC 32 North and despite my deputy activating the blue light and siren on his patrol vehicle, the driver of the van failed to stop.”

At that time the chase was initiated, one which traveled north on NC 32 through Gates County and into Virginia. Once crossing the state line, Suffolk (Va.) Police cars joined the pursuit before the suspect vehicle turned around and headed back towards North Carolina on NC 32.

“By then we had learned the van was stolen out of Pasquotank County,” Sheriff Goodwin said.

The pursuit speed slowed dramatically as the vehicle headed south, that due to the front tires completely coming off their rims due to the stop sticks deployment by Spruill. The second deployment of the stop sticks in Sunbury coupled with the use of a “rolling road block” by Chowan County deputies resulted in the van being completely stopped just south of the traffic light in Sunbury.

Sheriff Goodwin said Inkenbrandt was held under a $20,000 bond in his county for felony possession of a stolen vehicle and felony speed to elude arrest. Charges are pending in Gates and Pasquotank counties as well as in Suffolk, Va.