Local News

Man dead in Fayetteville police chase; suspect on the run

Posted January 6, 2010
Updated January 7, 2010

— A man died during a Fayetteville police chase Wednesday morning after a fleeing suspect crashed a stolen pickup truck into a PT Cruiser, killing the car's driver.

Police identified the victim as John Velandra, 43. The pickup driver, later identified as Percyful Junior Mcintyre, fled the area on foot.

Mcintyre, 24, hadn't been apprehended by Wednesday evening and warrants were issued for his arrest. He is expected to be charged with second-degree murder, felony speeding to elude arrest, larceny of a motor vehicle, possession of a stolen vehicle and felony hit and run, police said.

John Velandra, killed in Fayetteville police chase One dead in Fayetteville police chase

"It was incredibly shocking news," said the Rev. Wayne Tate, a pastor at Manna Church in Fayetteville, which Velandra and his wife attended. "We're going to miss John tremendously."

A woman called police at about 5:15 a.m. to report that a suspicious man was looking in vehicles in the Ingleside Drive neighborhood, police said. She called police again a short time later and said that her husband was following the man who had stolen a silver Ford F-150 truck.

Police tried to pull over the suspect, but he refused to stop and a chase ensued. Officers said they started backing off the pickup in the Bragg Street area when it nearly crashed into several vehicles.

As the pursuit moved towards Pamalee Drive and Cain Road, two officers with marked patrol cars and blue lights flashing blocked the intersection "to reduce the likelihood of other vehicles being struck by the suspect vehicle," police said.

"Unfortunately, a 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser, driven by John Velandra, failed to yield to the officers at the scene and entered the intersection when the light in his direction of travel turned green," police said in a press release.

Velandra, a former Fort Bragg soldier, was on his way to teach a fitness class Wednesday morning, Tate said. He was the owner of Designs in Fitness personal training services in Fayetteville.

Shortly after entering the intersection, the pickup truck struck Velandra's vehicle and the suspect ran away. Emergency crews took Velandra to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

"We're not supposed to understand everything that happens. We certainly will never understand why John was taken from us at this time," Tate said.

He described Velandra as active in the church and devoted to his wife and his fitness business.

"He loved to help people. I would always find John off in a corner somewhere talking with someone, trying to help them in any way that he could," said Tate, who said Velandra also was his personal trainer.

The officers involved in the pursuit were placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of the administrative investigation, which is standard policy and procedure.

Anyone having information regarding the whereabouts of McIntyre, who might have visible head injuries from the crash, should contact the Fayetteville Police Department at 910- 433-1885 or Crime Stoppers at 910-483-8477.


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  • FromClayton Jan 8, 2010

    Ambergail1: He got away because you were not there to chase, and catch him!! You should be ashamed of yourself!!

    This is as stupid as some of the comments on here. Unfortunately some are even worse!!
    Redneck Fun

    Hey, that was not a stupid comment at all! "the police should not have chased him" or "the police killed the guy" are stupid comments. "How did the bad guy get away when they were suppose to be police right behind him and/or blocking the intersection" is a valid comment. It just doesnt make sense to me and I am questioning it.

  • nccrew Jan 7, 2010


    You're onto something really good there. When a bad guy becomes to scary, dangerous, or violent, we (society) just back off. Brilliant!
    WebberX, I think that's a real good idea! It would certainly reduce jail/prison over crowding! Immunity through reckless disregard! I love it! I hope you teach your children that lesson.

  • SEOpro Jan 7, 2010

    I think that it was the doctor's fault that the man died. They should have saved him at the hospital.

    And if I have to explain that sarcastic remark, then I feel sorry for you.

    Innocent victims are taken down by criminal actions every day. Store clerks that are shot and killed by robbers can not be blamed by being on their shift, working and perhaps get shot if they try to resist a robbery. Subsequently, if there happened to be a police officer in the parking lot that started a foot-chase after said robber, it is not the officer's fault in performing their duty if the robber happens to decide to shoot a few innocent people in his/her way while running down the street to get away.

    The victim is a victim of crime - not from anything else. The criminal made the decision to commit a crime and then perform any dangerous action in order to elude capture which put both officers and the public in danger. The officers did not cause that danger. The criminal did.

  • Redneck Fun Jan 7, 2010

    Ambergail1: He got away because you were not there to chase, and catch him!! You should be ashamed of yourself!!

    This is as stupid as some of the comments on here. Unfortunately some are even worse!!

  • FromClayton Jan 7, 2010

    i'm still sad that this happned. I hope they get the bad guy (how did he get away in the first place?)

    sad for the family.

  • didisaythat Jan 7, 2010


    You say stop blamming the dead man because that is wrong. I agree he did not drive in the middle of the intersection to get struck by a criminal that has no regard for the law or others. But then you want to blame the police. They are in the same boat as the victim. They were doing there jobs. They backed off and were trying to block intersections so others would not get hurt. If the victim would not have been hit by the PERSON AT FAULT everyone would be cheering for the police and how they were experienced, professional and did their jog right for once. I don't see how the action of the criminal makes the cops at fault.

  • leo-nc Jan 7, 2010

    "cops should have backed off this maniac sooner - they knew better - stop blaming dead man..."---

    The criminal shouldn't have run. Guy shouldn't have tried to get around a blocked intersection. Forget about all this?

  • Common Sense Man Jan 7, 2010

    "It appears to be okay to criticize doctors, nurses, social workers and others but it is not okay to criticize the police."

    I've never seen constant nurse, doctor and social worker bashing here. Actually I don't remember seeing any of them bashed.

  • Common Sense Man Jan 7, 2010

    "I think its interesting that people seem to have vilified the bad driver because he stole a truck during his spree. Now that he is a thief and a bad driver, you judge this combination to be a terrible person. Remember that its his bad driving that did the real damage here and not that he stole a truck. How many of you are bad drivers that speed and run a red light or two every day? If you are a bad driver, you could be the real villain next time..."

    Is that a serious post? Tongue in cheek?

  • webberx101 Jan 7, 2010

    cops should have backed off this maniac sooner - they knew better - stop blaming dead man...