Local News

Zebulon police arrest three, seek one after chase

Posted September 18, 2009 5:36 a.m. EDT
Updated September 19, 2009 2:57 p.m. EDT

— Authorities spent most of Friday looking for the man they said fled from police after an alleged theft and a police chase that left an officer with a broken leg.

Zebulon police were looking for Jason Earl Anthony, 32, of 103 Jordan Lane in Wake Forest, who they said was armed and dangerous. Anthony is facing multiple charges, including attempted murder on a police officer, larceny, resisting, delaying and obstructing arrest and various traffic-related offenses.

Police arrested three other people early Friday morning.

Terry Lynn Pearce Sr., 43, of 1252 M.C. Wilder Road in Louisburg; Terry Lynn Pearce Jr., 20, of 4510 Momose Tree Lane in Raleigh; and Ashley Elizabeth Jones, 19, of 1980 Spring Drive in Garner, were all in the Wake County jail Friday before a court appearance Monday.

Zebulon police said the four people were in a blue 2002 Ford Ranger pickup parked at the Swift Mart, on Lizard Lick Road, around 1:40 a.m. when officers approached. Police said the truck matched the description given by a clerk at the Scotchman Convenience Store, 503 W. Gannon Ave., who reported people stealing beer and propane cylinders.

Sgt. Tivon Howard approached the driver's side of the truck, and Officer Brandon Atwood went to the passenger's door, which was open, and leaned in. The driver then put the truck in reverse, and the front-seat passenger closed the door, pinning Atwood, police said.

"Officer Atwood was trapped in between the passenger door and the frame of the truck," Zebulon Police Chief Tim Hayworth said.

“(It’s a) very brazen act,” he said. “It's obvious that the driver knows that the officer is trapped in the door.”

The truck dragged Atwood about 15 to 20 feet down the street, police said.

"The officer was able to get his weapon out. (He) fired three rounds at the suspects. Being that he was being dragged, he did not hit the suspects," Hayworth said. "The person let go of the door, he dropped free, and then the vehicle ran over the officer."

Atwood, a trainee who had been in the field for 12 days, was treated at WakeMed for a broken leg. He was released and "is in good spirits at home," Hayworth said.

State Highway Patrol troopers spotted the truck on N.C. Highway 96, near Jack Mitchell Road, and a short chase ensued. Haywood said Terry Pearce Jr. threw a propane tank from the back of the truck as troopers gave chase.

The truck wrecked in a ditch on Ferrell Road. The driver jumped out and ran, and the other three were taken into custody, police said.

Pearce Sr. was charged with two counts of misdemeanor larceny and one count each of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and larceny and resisting, delaying and obstructing arrest. His bond was set at $56,000.

According to state Department of Correction records, his criminal record dates to 1982 and includes convictions for assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, selling drugs, habitual impaired driving and speeding to elude arrest.

Pearce Jr. was charged with accessory after the fact and underage possession of a container of wine or beer. He was held on a $10,000 bond.

Jones was charged with resisting, delaying or obstructing arrest and give a $3,000 bond.

DOC records show that Pearce Jr. is on probation for DWI, and Jones was given probation last September for larceny and attempted vehicle breaking-and-entering.

Zebulon police asked anyone with information about Anthony’s whereabouts to call 919-269-7455.

Police said that his prior criminal history including assault with a deadly weapon on a government official, trafficking heroin and speeding to elude arrest.