Dispute Ends in Chase
Posted July 20, 1997
SMITHFIELD — A domestic disturbance between two brothers moved into a high speed chase about midnight Saturday -- a chase that spanned five counties, involved more than 25 law officers, and that reached speeds in excess of 100 miles an hour.
The ruckus started when officers were called to handle a dispute in a mobile home park on Highway 50 South. A man wielding a 12-gauge shotgun began shooting at sheriff's deputies, and then took off in a car.
At least seven law enforcement agencies, including state troopers from both Carolinas, chased him. The man drove from Highway 50 to NC 41 to I-40. Officers tried to set up "stop sticks" on the roadway, but the car had already shot past them, heading for I-95.
The driver and officers exchanged bullets as they flew down I-95. The suspect drove through Harnett, Sampson and Cumberland Counties before authorities caught him in Robeson County, just outside Lumberton -- four hours after the ordeal began. Law officers established a "running roadblock," which effectively boxes a vehicle inside a phalanx of their cars and, as they slow down, the car being chased is forced to slow or to crash.
Officers identified the driver as Ronald L. Williams, 30, of Garner. He is being treated for a gunshot wound at a local hospital.
Various charges are being brought against Williams, among them: driving while intoxicated, traveling in excess of 100 mph in a 65 mph zone, attempt to elude arrest, assault of government officials, assault with a deadly weapon, three assault charges, and damage to property.
There's no word on motive for the chase.