Local News

Baby on board during car chase in Durham

Posted September 28, 2012 4:55 p.m. EDT
Updated September 28, 2012 4:57 p.m. EDT

— The Durham County Sheriff’s Office arrested a man who allegedly led deputies on a car chase Wednesday morning while his 8-month-old grandson rode in the back seat.

The boy’s father, who police said was a passenger in the car, is still at large.

A sheriff’s office spokesman said the incident began at 9:15 a.m., when deputies went to the 200 block of Patterson Road in Durham after a citizen reported two men acting suspiciously and possibly stealing items. When deputies arrived, the men got into red 1997 Ford Ranger and left.

A sergeant responding to the call intercepted the vehicle on Cheek Road, but the driver continued for two more miles. Deputies said the vehicle stopped on Hereford Road, and the passenger jumped out and ran into nearby woods.

Deputies used a police dog to begin searching for the passenger while the sergeant took the driver into custody. During the arrest, they discovered the boy unharmed in the back seat. He was not in a child safety seat.

The driver, identified as James Theodore Lawson, 54, of 4905 Old Weaver Trail, Creedmoor, was charged with speeding to elude arrest and child abuse. He was held at the Durham County jail under a $5,000 bond.

An arrest warrant has been issued for the passenger, identified as Jonathan Edgar West, 35, of 1107 Ellis Road in Durham. He is facing charges of resisting a public officer, and is wanted on previous charges of driving while license revoked and resisting a public officer.

Anyone with information on West is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 919-560-0900.

The boy was turned over to Durham County Child Protective Services.