Local News

Nashville Woman Escapes From Handcuffs, Steals Deputy's Vehicle

Posted August 23, 2006 2:44 a.m. EDT

— The theft of a Nash County deputy's vehicle led to a high-speed chase that ended with the suspect being shot by a police officer Tuesday night, authorities said.

The unidentified deputy was taking 29-year-old Rose Marie Burgess to a magistrate's office about 8 p.m. on an arrest warrant for a breaking and entering charge. Authorities said Burgess was in the front seat with her hands handcuffed behind her.

When the deputy got out of his car to let her out, Burgess was able to work her way out of the handcuffs, moved onto the driver's side and fled the scene in the vehicle.

As authorities pursued the patrol car, Nash County Sheriff Dick Jenkins said, Burgess approached the ramp from U.S. Highway 64 onto Interstate 95 and tried to run over a Nashville police officer. Another officer fired shots at the vehicle, striking Burgess, authorities said.

Burgess was taken to Nash General Hospital and was later transfered to Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville, where she underwent surgery Wednesday morning. There was no word on her condition.

Police closed the ramp onto I-95 south from U.S. 64 East for a brief time Tuesday night as they investigated the incident. The ramp reopened at about 3:15 a.m. Wednesday.

Jenkins said it's not uncommon for suspects to ride in the front seat of a patrol car. The vehicle she was in didn't have a steel divider between the front and back seats, so it was was more secure to have her in front so the deputy could keep an eye on her, he said.

The State Bureau of Investigation has been contacted as part of the standard procedure in investigating an officer-involved shooting. The unidentified officer who allegedly shot Burgess has been assigned to administrative duty until the investigation is complete.

There was no word on the status of the Nashville police officer who Burgess allegedly targeted.