FIRST ON 3: Chief promises more info in domestic turned chase Tuesday


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington’s Police Chief says he will release more information early next week about a domestic situation that led to a chase that ended at WPD headquarters.

This morning, the former WPD employee accused in the case made his first court appearance.

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Jairo Checo, 34, faces charges including first degree kidnapping, child abuse and assault with a deadly weapon on a law enforcement officer.

In court, a judge set Checo’s bond at $500,000 and ordered him to have no contact with the victims in yesterday’s incident.

Police say the Leland man called 911 at 5:38 a.m. Thursday saying he had his wife and children in a car and was threatening to kill them. WPD spokeswoman Linda Rawley says the call came in from around 2nd and Chestnut streets, and officers immediately rushed to that location.

Police say Checo led them on a chase for more than an hour through the city and county. It ended when the car stopped behind WPD headquarters. Police say Checo got out of his car and refused to follow orders. An officer fired shots, but no one was hit. An internal affairs investigation is underway, police say.

Checo was employed with WPD from July 2 to Nov. 1, 2007, as a cadet in the Basic Law Enforcement Training Academy. Police say the woman and her children involved are safe and no one else was hurt.

New Hanover County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Crow granted a motion from WPD to seal the 911 call from Thursday morning and other public information, including the dispatch calls and records. That information is routinely released hours after an incident happens, and in fact, WPD released some of it despite the judge’s order. Deputy City Attorney Meredith Everhart, who sought the order, has not responded to a request from WWAY to release the full call given the partial release of information to this point.

When asked why the call was sealed while calls in most other cases are not, Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous told WWAY it was so his officers had time to fully investigate what happened. Evangelous then promised to release the call and more information by Tuesday morning, though the court order currently has it sealed until 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Among the many questions WPD is not answering at this point is which officer fired the shots and whether that officer or any others have been put on leave, as well as how the car got into the fenced off area behind headquarters.