Local News

Coats police chief assaulted; suspect arrested

Posted November 17, 2009
Updated November 19, 2009

— Coats Police Chief Eddie Jaggers was assaulted Tuesday afternoon in a wooded area near N.C. Highway 27, said Harnett County sheriff's spokesman Maj. Gary McNeil.

The assault happened after a suspect, whose name was not released, fled a licensing checkpoint at about 5:30 p.m., authorities said.

Jaggers chased the suspect's vehicle in his cruiser for 8 miles. Then, the suspect's vehicle got stuck in a creek near the Oakdale Mobile Home Park, along the 8000 block of N.C. 27.

Rita and Maurice Howerton were sitting down for dinner when the vehicles drove into their backyard.

"The officer came flying in and the black Charger came around,” Rita Howerton said.

After the suspect's vehicle got stuck, he tried to flee on foot, authorities said. Jaggers went after him and the suspect struck the chief in the head, McNeil said.

"All we heard was the sirens going off, and we heard the chief was the one chasing him, and he's the one who got hit in the head,” Maurice Howerton said.

The suspect then ran into the woods.

Paramedics transported Jaggers to WakeMed with non-life-threatening injuries. He was treated and released, hospital officials said.

The suspect was arrested late Tuesday, McNeil said. He faces several charges, including assault on an officer.


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  • 6079 SMITH W Nov 18, 2009

    leonc: See now, sir? People who are just drinking at 5:30 in the afternoon don't usually run from checkpoints and beat police officers if all they did was have a few too many...he was up to no good..Be careful out there, buddy and stay safe!

  • thepeopleschamp Nov 18, 2009

    "Stewart ran from the checkpoint, though Department of Corrections records show he had just been released from parole on Oct. 28 for 1994 convictions in Wake County for second-degree rape, attempted second-degree rape, felony breaking and entering, larceny, failure to stop for an accident and common law robbery."

    Journ, this is the guy you DON'T want police to chase? You are ok with this suspect running through neighborhoods with the police just giving up? Not me. To all police, if there is a convicted rapist running through my neighborhood you have my permission and encouragement to chase until they are caught.

  • thepeopleschamp Nov 18, 2009

    "Mrs. Howerton said. “Then this black Charger pulled into our driveway and an officer jumped out.” quote from the Dunn newspaper

    Again, the Dunn newspaper reports driveway, no officer driving through backyards without due regard. LOL at the people whining earlier about something that didn't even happen. Peace!

  • thepeopleschamp Nov 18, 2009

    "the suspect tried to get away from Chief Jaggers by turning into the driveway of a home in the 8000 block of N.C. 27, located several milesoutside Coats. After whipping into the driveway, the suspect, Stefon Stewart, 43, of Holly Springs Road in Holly Springs, allegedly drove into the back yard of the home where he ditched the car after running it into a creek."

    There you go. From the dunn newspaper. The officer did NOT drive through anyone's backyard, the suspect did. And this alledged backyard is a driveway. Peace!

  • Vietnam Vet Nov 18, 2009

    That's something you don't see very often... A boss that doesn't mind jumping in and getting his hands dirty. Kudos!!

  • thepeopleschamp Nov 18, 2009

    "please tell me how that is driving with "due regard" for innocent lives?" journ

    Total injuries to citizens = ZERO. Case closed. You're welcome.

  • thepeopleschamp Nov 18, 2009

    "And anytime you would like me to step out from behind the computer, feel free to name a time and a place and I'll see you there." jorn

    Is this a challenge or are you trying to make my wife jealous?

  • thepeopleschamp Nov 18, 2009

    "as in the case of the teen that raped the elderly couple (who was actually captured by a passer by and held until the police got there)" journ

    That must be a different case. The one I was referring to was was a checkpoint where the suspect attempted to flee, crashed, caught, and had a outstanding warrant for rape. No citizens were involved.

  • thepeopleschamp Nov 18, 2009

    Funny how we pointed out the fact that they "drove into their backyards" yet he has no response to that?? journ

    I already posted that at Oakdale MHP there are no backyards, only driveways. Google earth it. What was that you were saying about read and comprehend?

  • Journey985 Nov 18, 2009

    All anitov's responses and all he can come up with are some gramar issues, it's a laptop, keys get hit or missed by mistake. Please, respond to the fact that you were WRONG and the suspect and officer DID drive through peoples back yards. AND then please tell me how that is driving with "due regard" for innocent lives?