Local News

Raleigh Police Arrest Suspect After High Speed Chase

Posted June 2, 1999

— A police chase in North Raleigh ended just before noon with several minor accidents, and a suspect in custody.

Raleigh police originally stopped William Crabtree, III for a seatbelt violation. When they checked his record, he took off and a chase ensued.

Police chased the pickup truck Crabtree was driving throughout North Raleigh, along Falls of Neuse Road, Old Wake Forest Road, Capital Boulevard, and other streets.

The chase wreaked havoc on Atlantic Avenue, where two police cars collided with each other. Minutes later, Crabtree hit two other police cars a few blocks away at the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and New Hope Church Road.

Crabtree apparently jumped out of the pickup truck and ran into the parking lot of an apartment complex. He tried to get away from police on foot and was then caught.

The chase ended on Newton Road, right where it started 26 minutes earlier.

Crabtree is wanted in Maryland on kidnapping and felony assault charges. He is wanted in Wake County on a false pretense charge, which is also felony. Police say that is why they continued the chase.

"There's three felony charges that we know of, learned of another one through the chase, then after he rammed two police officers it is fairly obvious he would hurt anyone who got in the way," says CPT. M.R. Kielty of the Raleigh Police Department.

Witnesses say the chase looked extremely dangerous. "There was a lot of traffic," said witness Darrell Partozoti. "A lot of people could have been hurt if the police hadn't hemmed him up like they did."

They say police did what they had to do to keep others from being hit.

"I give the cops a lot of credit. They did really good controlling it here at the corner," says Partozoti.

Police say they never went above 60 or 65 miles per hour because of the heavy lunchtime traffic.

They say they could have called off the chase at any time, but felt they had the situation under control.

No one was seriously injured; one officer was treated and released from an area hospital.

Besides the previous charges, Crabtree now faces charges of assaulting three police officers.

andKeith Baker

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