Local News

High-Speed Three-County Pursuit Raises Questions On Police Policies

Posted May 19, 2006 5:34 a.m. EDT

— A wreck on I-95 marked the end of a high-speed chase through three counties Thursday.

It started at a Smithfield jewelry store, when a man came in and asked manager Kimberly Boykin to see a $7,000 engagement ring.

"When I took it out and handed it to him, he looked at it for just a split second and ran out the door," said Boykin.

A Johnston County deputy in an unmarked car spotted the suspects driving erratically down a busy road nearby. When he turned on his blue lights, they took off.

"He passed me on Brightleaf Boulevard doing about 55 mph, weaving into traffic," said the deputy on the police scanner as the chase began.

He chased the car down Highway 301 South, at times reaching speeds well above 100 miles per hour.

"We take chases real serious," said Sheriff Steve Bizzell. "We know when to terminate. We know when to let them go. But in this case, we had a felony larceny."

When the chase reached the Benson city limits, officer Danny Lucas took the lead.

"He was passing cars in the center lane, in the turn lane," said Lucas.

As they passed through each small town, local authorities say they blocked traffic to keep as many people off Highway 301 as possible.

"Any chase you consider being dangerous," said Lucas. "If the traffic had been a little heavier or his driving was a little worse than it was, we probably would have called it off."

When the pursuit reached the town of Dunn, investigators say the suspects finally got off Highway 301. They took a couple of back roads and then ended up on I-95.

The chase ended in Cumberland County when the suspect crashed. Deputies arrested Roscoe Sullivan and Todd Edens. They still haven't found the stolen ring, but no one got hurt.

Edens and Sullivan face felony larceny charges in Smithfield, and additional felonies in three counties for trying to elude police.