CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – A man driving a stolen vehicle was taken into custody in west Charlotte Friday afternoon following an extensive pursuit with police.
Police say 58-year-old Willie Leon Davis has been charged with possession of stolen motor vehicle, two counts of hit and run, two counts of felony flee to elude, DWLR, resisting arrest, speeding, reckless driving and stop sign violation.
He has been taken to the custody of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say they received a tip around 11 a.m. about a stolen black 2012 Nissan Versa traveling in Charlotte.
The pursuit went from south Charlotte and through east Charlotte before coming to an end on Creighton Drive just before 1 p.m.
Police say the vehicle involved was stolen from N. Tryon Street near E 11th Street in uptown on Thursday.
Police say Willie Davis knew they wanted him to stop, but he kept going.
CMPD says the department pursuit policy dictates how officers respond.
“You know you have to weigh on one hand the danger to the public and certainly anytime there’s a pursuit it certainly elevates individuals and people can get hurt and certainly anytime there’s a pursuit it certainly elevates individuals and people can get hurt” said Lt. Brad Koch.
Davis was driving a car that was stolen Wednesday morning.
Police say on Friday, a license plate reader got a hit but when officers tried twice to stop Davis, he took off both times but officers didn’t follow with lights and siren.
“It was a stolen vehicle,” said Lt. Koch. “In terms of the threshold of crimes, in terms of the ability to pursue – it did not reach that. That’s why when officers attempted to make a traffic stop and the gentleman didn’t stop – turned off the blue lights and just followed him and were able to utilize the helicopter to find him.”
Davis drove around Charlotte for more than an hour with the police in a helicopter observing him.
Finally, Davis turned onto Briar Creek Road then to Creighton Drive, where he hit a dead end.
People in the area say they saw the driver jump out of the black Nissan and run to a nearby apartment complex.
“I had the door open because it was on the TV and then I saw the man jump out of the car and came running,” said a man in the area. “And I said there he is right there and I closed the door and they was right behind him so they downed him right there.”
A construction worker said he “saw the officers show, just hopped out of his car and ran into this area over here.”
CMPD Chief Kerr Putney tweeted about the pursuit, recognizing the work by his officers.