CHARLOTTE — Chopper 9 Skyzoom followed a two-hour high-speed police chase Wednesday, where a man drove recklessly through the Carolinas, hitting two other drivers. Authorities said the man also stole four vehicles during the pursuit.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s helicopter initially began following a vehicle after a break-in was reported just before 11 a.m. Authorities said a Jeep was stolen.
Chopper 9 then spotted a pickup truck, that police said was also stolen, speeding and swerving on Interstate 77 near Clanton Road in south Charlotte just before noon.
A short time later, the truck went to a Walmart on South Tryon Street, where the driver jumped out and stole a car in the parking lot.
The car then headed north on South Boulevard, where it could be seen driving on a sidewalk, coming within feet of a person standing nearby.
After that, the car drove through an apartment complex’s parking lot in South End, before the driver made his way to north Charlotte. Chopper 9 Skyzoom then spotted the car on Statesville Road, approaching Interstate 85.
The driver then traveled along I-77 south, where the car could be seen speeding between lanes. The car then made its way back to South End, swerving between other drivers.
Chopper 9 Skyzoom was then over the car driving in uptown, before the driver headed back to south Charlotte. Then, at around 12:45 p.m., the vehicle was seen traveling near Park Road and Johnston Road.
After that, just before 1 p.m., the driver headed down US 521 to Indian Land in South Carolina. Minutes later, the driver turned around and headed back to North Carolina.
Just after 1 p.m., the driver crashed into another vehicle at the intersection of Ballantyne Commons Parkway and Johnston Road. The driver then carjacked an SUV, and headed down Johnston Road.
Chopper 9 saw police following the vehicle on Fairview Road near Colony Road. The driver was driving erratically and swerving around other vehicles.
A pickup truck, whose driver was a civilian, was also trying to ram the back of the suspect’s SUV to get the chase to end. But the truck started smoking and came to a stop, per Chopper 9 pilot Andy Holt.
Then just before 1:30 p.m., the driver made his way to East Boulevard in Dilworth.
Minutes later, the vehicle collided into another SUV at the intersection of South and East boulevards. The driver could be seen jumping out and surrendering to police.
Several CMPD patrol SUVs then surrounded the intersection and took him into custody.
Full statement from CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings:
“This is absolutely appalling that someone would have this much disregard for the general public. The CMPD pursuit policy prohibited us from chasing this suspect up until the point when the suspect carjacked the last vehicle, not knowing if an abduction had taken place. In these situations, police are in a no-win situation. While this subject poses a danger to the public, a police pursuit could have escalated that danger. Thank you to CMPD’s Aviation team and WSOC who assisted us with monitoring the situation from the sky. I am proud of our CMPD response in providing closure without serious injury.”
Channel 9 reached out to CMPD for more information on the chase and the charges the man is facing. We have not heard back at this point.
Check back with wsoctv.com for updates.
(WATCH BELOW: Chase leads to crash on Monroe Expressway, authorities say)
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