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Car Chase Sends Johnston Deputy to the Hospital

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Officials say John Meeks sped off after hitting a deputy with his car, but another deputy rammed the car into a ditch.(WRAL-TV5 News)
SMITHFIELD — A drug suspect led Johnston County authorities on a long high speed chase Wednesday sending one officer to the hospital.

The chase began around 5 p.m. in Benson when police stopped John Meeks, 22, for suspicion of drug dealing. Officials say he pulled a gun on the officers, returned to his car and sped off.

The high speed chase ensued until Meeks finally lost control of his car.

"The car ran into an open field where our deputies jumped out of their car and tried to run up to his car," says Capt. John Richardson with the Johnston County Sheriff's Department. "The suspect actually hit one of the deputies with his car knocking him down."

Officials say Meeks sped off again, but this time a deputy rammed his car into a ditch. Meeks then ran out of the car and into the woods.

Authorities sealed off the area, and located Meeks around 7:45 p.m. when a State Highway Patrol helicopter spotted him hiding in the woods.

"They have what is known as a flare unit, which senses body heat," Richardson said. "They spotted a mass of heat and directed us to it, and there he was."

Police are holding Meeks without bond, and will charge him with several offenses including attempted murder. The deputy hit by the car was treated at the hospital and released.



Laurie Clowers, Reporter
Greg Clark, Photographer
Jason Darwin, Web Editor

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