Chase ends in arrest

Published 9:47 am Thursday, July 30, 2009

ST. JOHN – A chase that started near here ended just outside of Winton Monday morning.

The chase, which was initiated when Sgt. Johnny Joyner of the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office attempted to stop a car operated by William Walter Harmon III, 26, of Willow Lane in Woodland, led to multiple charges.

According to a report filed by Sgt. Joyner, he and Deputies William Stroud and Leon Eason were en route to Willow Lane in Woodland to serve Harmon with a warrant for unauthorized use of a vehicle. The deputies arrived and found that the suspect had left the home.

Sgt. Joyner then met a car being operated by the suspect on the Jim Hardy Road and initiated a stop. The chase began and traveled along the St. John-Menola Road, Benthal Bridge Road, Beaver Dam Road, Tom Brown Road and Cool Spring Road before reaching U.S. 158E, Mount Tabor Church Road and back to the Tom Brown Road.

As the chase continued, it carried to N.C. 11, the Saluda Hall Road, Hall Siding Road and ended at a residence on U.S. 13.

At some point during the chase, Harmon allegedly attempted to run the patrol cars off the road.

The report indicated that Harmon jumped from the vehicle and ran into the woods, but was caught a short time later by Deputy Stroud.

Upon his arrest, Harmon was charged with flee to allude arrest, assault with a deadly weapon on a government official, speeding, resisting a public officer, fail to heed light or siren and fail to stop for stop sign/flashing red light.

He was placed in the Hertford County Detention Center under a $125,000 bond.

“Unfortunately, any time we try to initiate a stop, someone can choose to flee and a chase will ensue,” Hertford County Sheriff Juan Vaughan said. “The simple fact of that matter is that everyone would be better off if they would just stop.

“When someone flees, they put their lives in jeopardy, our officer’s lives in jeopardy and the public’s lives in jeopardy,” he added. “It’s not worth it. And, in the end, they’ll simply end up with a lot more charges than they were facing before.”