Local News

Coats police chief assaulted; suspect arrested

Posted November 17, 2009 5:59 p.m. EST
Updated November 19, 2009 12:41 p.m. EST

— Coats Police Chief Eddie Jaggers was assaulted Tuesday afternoon in a wooded area near N.C. Highway 27, said Harnett County sheriff's spokesman Maj. Gary McNeil.

The assault happened after a suspect, whose name was not released, fled a licensing checkpoint at about 5:30 p.m., authorities said.

Jaggers chased the suspect's vehicle in his cruiser for 8 miles. Then, the suspect's vehicle got stuck in a creek near the Oakdale Mobile Home Park, along the 8000 block of N.C. 27.

Rita and Maurice Howerton were sitting down for dinner when the vehicles drove into their backyard.

"The officer came flying in and the black Charger came around,” Rita Howerton said.

After the suspect's vehicle got stuck, he tried to flee on foot, authorities said. Jaggers went after him and the suspect struck the chief in the head, McNeil said.

"All we heard was the sirens going off, and we heard the chief was the one chasing him, and he's the one who got hit in the head,” Maurice Howerton said.

The suspect then ran into the woods.

Paramedics transported Jaggers to WakeMed with non-life-threatening injuries. He was treated and released, hospital officials said.

The suspect was arrested late Tuesday, McNeil said. He faces several charges, including assault on an officer.