WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The SBI is investigating the involvement of a Wilmington Police K-9 in the arrest last week of a man who led officers from several agencies on a chase.
Now the suspect is talking about his injuries from the dog police used to get him out of his car.
“The skin was hanging like this before I went to the hospital that night,” Johnnie Williams said as he showed his injuries during an interview at the New Hanover County Jail.
Williams says he got six stitches on his cheek and a four-inch deep wound on his shoulder from the WPD K-9 that pulled him out of his car Nov. 1.
“There’s damage to my nerves,” he said. “I know there is, because I can hardly feel my left hand.”
The 42-year-old says he was not under the influence during the chase, but he would not say why he failed to stop at a checkpoint sparking the pursuit through the north side of town.
“Um, I can’t really. No,” Williams said. “There really isn’t anything I can really say.”
Williams says he was driving home from getting medicine for pain from a recent surgery.
Dash cam video from a New Hanover County Sheriff’s car shows Williams driving the wrong way down multiple one-way streets and even on the wrong side of the road at times. The chase lasted about 10 minutes before officers could stop the car and used a K-9 to get Williams from his car.
“Just look at the evidence and wait till the whole thing comes out,” Williams said. “Don’t prejudge me as a person.”
Now WPD has called in state investigators.
“We have asked the SBI to review this case,” Police Chief Ralph Evangelous said in a statement last night, “because of the number of agencies involved in the pursuit and we want to make sure our officers followed proper procedure in assisting with this arrest. Bringing in the SBI will help to provide an objective review of the incident.”
The K-9 officer involved in the arrest is on paid administrative leave as SBI investigates. The dog stays with the handler, so it is also on leave.