APD car wrecks in high speed chase

Published 10:03 am Tuesday, December 20, 2016

AHOSKIE – An Ahoskie Police vehicle was involved in an accident here Friday night while engaged in a high speed pursuit.

Ahoskie Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh said the officer driving the town-owned vehicle, Patrolman William Deanes, and a ride-along passenger, a new recruit for the APD, were treated and released from Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital following the mishap.

Fitzhugh said that Deanes had observed a vehicle driving erratically on Memorial Drive around 6 p.m.

“Officer Deanes activated his blue light and siren and performed a traffic stop on the vehicle as it turned off Memorial Drive and into the parking lot of Hardees,” Fitzhugh said, adding that the driver was identified as 19-year-old Sherwin Lee Tann Jr. of Murfreesboro.

The APD Chief said Deanes initially approached the driver’s side of Tann’s vehicle at which time he noted the smell of marijuana. That prompted Deanes to ask the driver to wait as the officer returned to his vehicle to call for the assistance of Sgt. Michael Kellet, an APD K-9 officer.

“Upon the arrival of Sgt. Kellet, Officer Deanes walked back to Mr. Tann’s vehicle at which time Mr. Tann used vulgar language at my officer and then sped off.”

With Deanes and Kellet in pursuit, Tann’s vehicle headed west on Memorial Drive at a high rate of speed before turning onto Catherine Creek Road. The suspect vehicle made an abrupt turn onto First Street. This is where Fitzhugh said Deanes lost control of his patrol car and struck a utility pole.

Tann’s vehicle was discovered later (with no occupants inside) and it was seized by the Ahoskie Police.

Fitzhugh said warrants have been drawn for Tann’s arrest on the charges of felony speed to elude arrest, resist/delay/obstruct an officer, careless and reckless driving, speeding 110 mph in a 35 mph zone, and carrying a concealed weapon.

Other traffic charges are pending.

Fitzhugh said North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Angel Genao filed the accident report on the wrecked Ahoskie Police vehicle.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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