Stun gun sends driver in two-county chase to hospital
Posted March 4
Princeton, N.C. — A Johnston County man was in critical condition at WakeMed in Raleigh on Friday after a Kenly police officer used a stun gun on him following a high-speed chase through two counties on Thursday.
The Wilson County Sheriff's Office said a deputy tried to pull over a Dodge pickup for speeding on U.S. Highway 301 near Lucama, but the driver, identified as Alex Thompson, 37, of Pine Level, refused to stop.
The pickup went south into Johnston County, where other law enforcement officers picked up the chase, which authorities said topped 100 mph.
The chase ended more than 10 miles later when the pickup crashed into a fire hydrant near the intersection of Country Store Road and U.S. Highway 70, between Pine Level and Princeton.
According to a court order to seal police radio communications recorded during the chase for 30 days, a Kenly officer then fired a stun gun at Thompson, who suffered a medical emergency and had to be hospitalized. The order states the police were pursuing someone wanted for "alleged criminal activity."
"The suspect exited the vehicle and ran toward the officer. The officer gave several commands that were disregarded, and then officer deployed his Taser," Kenly Police Chief Josh Gibson said in a statement.
The State Bureau of Investigation, the State Highway Patrol and the Kenly Police Department are reviewing the case.
Franky Brady, who knows Thompson, said he saw the chase go by his house, with an unmarked cruiser right behind the pickup.
"It was right on his bumper, and they were running very, very fast," Brady said.
He described Thompson as a body builder and cancer survivor and said he watched for more than 30 minutes as paramedics worked on his friend.
"I was so disturbed about that because he's a good guy," he said. "You never heard anything bad about him. He's just a good guy. He just had a battle with cancer and everything, but I never knew him to be in any trouble or anything."