Johnston Sheriff: Chase Ensues After Man Eludes License Checkpoint
Posted August 17, 2007
Smithfield, N.C. — A man wanted on outstanding warrants was arrested Friday morning after he allegedly led deputies on a chase through Johnston County.
Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell said Charles Edwards Branch, whose age and address were not immediately available, sped away from a driver's license checkpoint on Little Divine Road shortly before 8 a.m. after he could not produce a valid ID at the stop.
During the course of the chase, Branch hit a deputy with his van and ran another driver off the road, Bizzell said. It was unclear whether the deputy was hurt.
When deputies were able to stop him, Branch got out of his car and jumped into a pond, where authorities had to fight with him to handcuff him, the sheriff said.
Authorities took Branch to Johnston Memorial Hospital, Bizzell said, because deputies thought he might have swallowed drugs before arriving at the license checkpoint.
Branch faces multiple charges in the chase, including felony to elude, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and three counts of resist and obstruction.
He also faces charges from two outstanding warrants, but those charges were not immediately clear.
A passenger in Branch's vehicle, Antonio Schwartz, was also taken into custody. It was not know what charges he faced.