Local News

Search continues for escaped Southern Pines inmate charged with rape, drug possession

Posted October 10

— Southern Pines police were continuing to search Tuesday for an inmate who escaped custody Monday night at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital.

Authorities said officers with the Southern Pines Police Department were patrolling South Hardin Street on Monday when they saw Vinton John Huntly Nation, 28, who had outstanding warrants for his arrest.

When approached, Nation gave officers a fake name and date of birth and sat in his car while they attempted to positively identify him by speaking with neighbors, police said.

While sitting in the car, officers said Nation reached for the glove compartment and held onto the steering wheel when officers attempted to remove him from the vehicle.

Police said Nation refused to comply with officers and grabbed the officers’ clothing and equipment during the struggle.

Officers used a Taser to subdue Nation in order to take him into custody, after which he reported that he was experiencing back pain and difficulty breathing, police said.

Nation was taken to Moore Regional Hospital and fled on foot from officers when he was released at about 9:10 p.m., authorities said.

Nation is described as black, 5 feet 9 inches tall and 150 pounds. He was last seen wearing black jeans, a hospital gown and handcuffs.

He may be driving a black 2007 Dodge Nitro with North Carolina license plate EJW-6778.

Authorities said Nation was in possession of 17.5 grams of cocaine, 3.5 grams of marijuana, a digital scale, a crack pipe, drug packaging equipment and ecstasy when he was taken into custody.

Police said that Nation will be charged with possession with intent to manufacture or sell cocaine, possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana, possession with intent to manufacture or sell a Schedule I controlled substance, possession of a Schedule I controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting an officer, failure to appear and credit card fraud once he is taken into custody.

Police said the failure to appear warrant was issued after Nation failed to show up to court following charges of statutory rape of a child less than 6 years of age, indecent liberties with a child, sexual battery, child abuse and resisting an officer.

Anybody with information about Nation’s whereabouts is asked to call Southern Pines Police at 910-692-7031 or dial 911.

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