11/16/2005

2 police chases in Charlotte, N.C.

STEVE LYTTLE- Police across Mecklenburg County stayed busy overnight with a pair of high-speed chases.

One chase stretched from Huntersville to southwest Charlotte and took place, in part, on Interstate-77.

The second began in Matthews, ended in east Charlotte, and involved a pursuit on Interstate-485.

Police have three suspects in custody and are searching for one more man.

The Huntersville chase began around midnight, when police there spotted what they believed to be a stolen Honda Civic. They began pursuing the car and its two occupants, and the chase soon moved onto southbound I-77, where police clocked the car at about 80 mph at one point.

As the suspects drove into Charlotte, they eventually got off the interstate and led police along Wilkinson Boulevard, Freedom Drive, West Boulevard, Old Steele Creek Road, eventually ending on Willow Street.

Police say one suspect jumped from the car and suffered minor injuries. Both men were caught around 12:45 a.m., when the vehicle reached a dead-end street.

Huntersville police were assisted by the Charlotte police helicopter in that incident.

The second chase began around 1:45 a.m., when police made what they said was a routine traffic stop in Matthews.

The car, also containing two men, sped off and eventually got on I-485, heading north.

The suspects exited the outerbelt at Albemarle Road and led police into east Charlotte. The chase ended in the 8400 block of Wallace Glen Drive, off East Harris Boulevard just north of Albemarle Road. The two men ditched the car and fled.

A Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police K-9 dog captured the passenger, but the driver got away. Matthews and Charlotte police teamed in that chase. Police are continuing the search Wednesday morning.

 Charlotte Observer (http://www.charlotte.com/)

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