Driver arrested after chase that hurt cop

Police trainee's leg broken during attempted stop

Staff WriterSeptember 19, 2009 

— Police reported this morning that the fourth suspect in a theft and chase in Zebulon on Friday has been arrested in South Carolina.

The incident left a rookie police officer with a broken leg.

According to a news release from Zebulon police, Jason Earl Anthony, 32, was arrested late Friday night in Greenville County, S.C. after he was suspected of commiting a car jacking in the area. Anthony is being held without bond.

Zebulon investigators are working with the Wake County District Attorney's Office to begin the extradition process, police said.

Anthony, of 103 Jordan Lane in Wake Forest, faces a host of charges, including attempted murder of a police officer, said Zebulon police chief Tim Hayworth.

The trouble began when Zebulon police Sgt. Tivon Howard and a trainee officer, C. Brandon Atwood, responded to a call about a suspicious person at the Scotchman convenience store on West Gannon Avenue about 1:40 a.m. The store clerk told them some men had been acting strangely outside and that they appeared drunk.

According to Hayworth, one of the men came into the store, took some beer and left in a blue 2002 Ford Ranger headed west on N.C. 97 toward Lizard Lick.

Police found the truck backed up to a propane tank storage area at the Swift Mart at N.C. 97 and Marshburn Road in Lizard Lick.

Howard approached the truck on the driver's side, while Atwood went to the passenger side, where the door was open, Hayworth said. The driver then put the vehicle in gear and started backing up. The man in the passenger seat tried to close the door, trapping Atwood in the door frame, Hayworth said.

Atwood managed to pull his handgun and fire three shots, but didn't hit anyone.

The driver stopped the truck, put it in drive and Atwood fell out. The truck ran over his leg, breaking it just above the ankle, Hayworth said.

Highway Patrol Trooper D.B. Simmons saw the pickup a short time later on N.C. 96 near Jack Mitchell Road, north of Zebulon. Simmons gave chase, and the truck crashed in a ditch on Ferrell Road, just east of N.C. 96.

The driver, believed to be Anthony, got out and ran. Simmons detained the other three people in the truck.

Police identified the three as Terry Lynn Pearce Sr., 43, of 1252 M.C. Wilder Road in Louisburg; his son, Terry Lynn Pearce Jr., 20, of 4510 Momose Tree Lane in Raleigh, and Ashley Elizabeth Jones, 19, of 1980 Spring Drive in Garner.

Hayworth described the suspects as desperate to elude police.

"At one point during the chase, one of the suspects crawled out of the back window of the truck and the trooper thought he was going to try to jump from the truck," Hayworth said. "But he started throwing propane tanks at the trooper."

Hayworth said police were told that Anthony took a gun from the pickup when he ran, so they are describing him as armed and dangerous.

Charges in the case include attempted murder of a police officer, larceny, resisting arrest and a number of traffic-related offenses.

Atwood, the injured officer, was treated and released from WakeMed. or 919-269-6101

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