16-Year-Olds Lead Police on Lengthy, High-Speed Chase
Posted November 13, 1999
WAYNE COUNTY — Police say two 16-year-olds are in custody after leading law enforcement officials on a high-speed chase through three counties early Sunday morning.
Police have arrested Richard Dawson and Robert Reid, both runaways from the Baptist Children's Home in Kinston for Sunday morning's chase that could have caused serious problems for radio stations.
The driver, Dawson, is facing a long list of charges, including driving at speeds up to 120 miles per hour. Reid was injured, but was later released from the hospital into police custody.
Late Saturday, in downtown Raleigh, an officer saw a white van jump a curb, out of control.
Expecting a drunk driver behind the wheel, Capitol police began a pursuit. Then multiple agencies got involved chasing the vehicle across Wake County.
Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell picked up the pursuit and tried to stop the vehicle with his own patrol car.
"He was all over the road -- back and forth, right lane, left lane," said Bizzell. "I tried to get in the front of him just to break his speed down, and it was obvious that he was going to ram my vehicle, and I was able to get over in the median. I just had to let him go."
Bizzell then radioed deputies in Wayne County to let them know that the driver was headed their way.
They set up stop sticks on Highway 70, which blew out the van's tires at the edge of Goldsboro, ending the chase when he hit a guide wire that was attached to a radio station tower.
The tower hit broadcasts the airwaves of four radio stations: 96.9 FM, 102.3 FM, 730 AM and 1150 AM.
All the stations are on-air, but station managers say there is still some major repair work to do to keep the towers up and operating.