Driver shot after he backed car toward N.C. deputies

Mandy Locke, Staff Writer

Copyright 2006 The News and Observer 

A Wake County Sheriff's deputy shot a suspected drunken driver after he and a team of deputies chased the man through rural Wake County on Sunday.

Charles Dorsey, 44, was treated at WakeMed Raleigh Campus on Sunday, hours after he led deputies on a high-speed chase for about five miles. Upon being released from the hospital late Sunday, Dorsey was charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, felony speeding to elude and two counts of misdemeanor assault on a government employee.

He was in Wake County jail Sunday night in lieu of $125,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in District Court today.

Dorsey eventually crashed his Dodge Dakota truck into a fence and was shot as he backed up his truck toward deputies who were trying to arrest him, according to Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison.

One of the deputies shot into the vehicle, wounding Dorsey. Harrison wouldn't say where Dorsey was struck or which deputy fired into the truck.

The State Bureau of Investigation is reviewing the shooting. Four deputies have been placed on administrative duty until the SBI investigation is complete.

The encounter began just after midnight when Deputy R.D. Davis spotted a truck on Old Stage Road weaving along the road -- a sign the driver might be impaired, Harrison said. The deputy flipped on his lights and siren and tried to stop the driver, Harrison said.

The driver, later identified as Dorsey, kept going, Harrison said. He fled north on Old Stage Road; the deputy called for backup. Other deputies, along with the state Highway Patrol and Garner police, joined the pursuit, Harrison said.

"He was a danger to himself and others," Harrison said.

Troopers threw out stop sticks -- devices with spikes used to deflate the tires of a runaway vehicle. Dorsey dodged them all, Harrison said. As Dorsey turned right onto Maxwell Drive from U.S. 401, he lost control and crashed into the fence of a car dealership.

As deputies got closer, Dorsey put the truck in reverse.

"He was attempting to back over two other deputies," Harrison said.

Harrison said deputies appeared to have followed the department's chase policy but deferred to the SBI for a formal determination. The policy says that deputies may pursue a vehicle if a deputy "determines that the need for apprehension of the suspect or violator is greater than the danger of the pursuit to the public."

Dorsey, who has addresses in Angier and Garner, already was wanted in Harnett County on a misdemeanor stalking charge and a charge of communicating threats. He also had a warrant outstanding for missing court on a charge of driving with a revoked license, Harrison said.

Dorsey also has convictions for resisting a public officer and for robbery with a dangerous weapon.

(Staff writer David Bracken and news researcher Lamara Williams-Hackett contributed to this report.) 
May 15, 2006

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