Law enforcement uses pepper spray to stop alleged Bobcat bandit
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – A man faced a judge Thursday after leading law enforcement on a chase through New Hanover County in a Bobcat tractor.
According to a spokeswoman with the Wilmington Police Department, Adarious Walker, 18, was operating a Bobcat Skid-Steer Loader tractor in an erratic manner Wednesday night, at which point the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office began pursuing him. Wilmington Police got involved as the driver made his way into city limits.
Video shows the man driving the Bobcat through the intersection of College Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway.
WWAY spoke with Brandon Fresia Wednesday night about his video.
“I asked the police officer what was going on, and he said they were doing a police pursuit — but with a Bobcat tractor,” Fresia said. “And that they were traveling down Gordon Road and they should be traveling down 40 and heading up College shortly, so they shut us down. Were going to shut the road part down. And so I said oh man, I’ve got to get this on camera.”
Authorities apprehended the man near the Parkway Volvo dealership on Market Street and took him into custody.
Officials say Walker led a string of law enforcement vehicles on the slow-speed chase. Getting up to five miles per hour at times, the hour-long chase came to a slow end on Cardinal Drive.
“Once we started, it had tracks, so using spikes strips was not going to be an option, Brewer said. “You can’t pit that type of equipment.”
Lt. Jerry Brewer with the sheriff’s office says law enforcement officers had to use pepper spray on Walker during the pursuit to stop him.
“The first option was let it run out of gas,” Brewer said. “Once we saw that was going on for some time and that wasn’t really a good option. There was an issue with the track that was keeping him stalled for a second. That’s when we were able to pepper spray him and get him stopped.”
Wilmington Police said no damage has been reported as a result of the chase.
Walker faces the following charges:
- Resist/delay/obstruct public officers
- Reckless driving to endanger
- Fail to heed to light/siren.
- No operators license
- Impede traffic – sit/stand/lie highway
- Failure to stop steady red light
WPD says officers at the scene did not have reason to suspect Walker had used drugs or alcohol prior to the incident.
With the teamwork of the sheriff’s office, WPD and State State Highway Patrol, Brewer says they were able to arrest Walker safely.
“It is humorous to see on there and a lot of people have noticed that, but we were lucky because it was a learning lesson for us,” Brewer said. “It was something new we hadn’t seen before, but we were able to get the young man into custody without being hurt, and nobody else was hurt.”
At this time, Wilmington police have not received any reports of stolen construction equipment and therefore have not charged Walker with larceny.
however, an employee with Herc Rentals on Market Street confirms that Bobcat tractor belongs to them, and was stolen from the Mayfaire area.
Walker is being held in the New Hanover County Jail under a $3,500 bond.
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