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Suspect Arrested In Orange County Home Invasion, Chase

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ORANGE COUNTY, N.C. — An Orange County woman is recovering after being beaten in a violent home invasion Tuesday morning. The search for the suspect ended in Durham, where officers stopped him in the victim's stolen car.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office said deputies responded to a home invasion call on Pleasant Green Road at 9:23 a.m.

The victim called 911 and reported that 36-year-old Michael Dran Blackwell had broken into her home, assaulted her and tied her up in her bathroom. Once Blackwell allegedly assaulted and tied the victim up, deputies said he stole the woman's SUV.

Around 10:30 a.m., Durham police spotted the stolen vehicle near the Braggtown Community. A chase ensued and took officers through a residential section. The suspect finally stopped at Dearborn Drive and Forrester Street.

Orange County deputies and Durham Police officers apprehended Blackwell after a short foot chase. Authorities said he tried to shoot himself in order to avoid being placed into custody.

Blackwell was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, breaking and entering, larceny and kidnapping.

Blackwell is being held in the Orange County Jail under a $500,000 secured bond. Authorities said due to Blackwell's suicide attempt and questionable mental capacity, they are seeking a order to put him in Central Prison, where he could be better cared for.

Blackwell has a prior criminal record, including three felony assault charges.

Blackwell is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 24.

Deputies said the victim had been hit in the head several times by some type of object. She was transported to Duke Medical Center for treatment.


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