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Police: 2nd attempt to capture flight suspect fails



Staff Writer


A Gaston County man believed to be armed and dangerous and wanted in three area counties, including Lincoln, took police on their second unsuccessful vehicular chase this month, which again ended at the South Carolina state border.

Cramerton police failed to capture James Curtis Stewart, 39, Thursday morning after pursuing him up and down I-85, I-485 and I-77 southbound, Sgt. T.N. Jones told the Times-News.

According to a Cramerton Police Department press release, Jones recognized Stewart and his vehicle around 5 a.m. at a Lowell gas station. The officer knew the man and his truck had been involved in multiple area metal thefts and attempted to stop Stewart, the release said. The two embarked on a vehicular chase after Jones said the suspect refused to comply with police.

Stewart’s accused of trying to ram the patrol vehicle on more than one occasion during the pursuit.

Police eventually called off the high-speed chase just before the suspect entered South Carolina.

A Lincoln County deputy first chased Stewart’s Ford Ranger pickup down the same Charlotte area highways around 3 a.m. March 1 after the suspect fled the scene of a traffic stop at the intersection of Old Plank Road and Hines Circle Road in Stanley, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The deputy stopped the man’s vehicle after noticing that it contained a large amount of scrap metal. They also said they ran his tag and learned he was wanted by Mecklenburg County police for obtaining property by false pretenses.

Heavy traffic forced the officer to also conclude the chase at the South Carolina state border.

Stewart is wanted in Lincoln County for felony fleeing to elude law enforcement, reckless driving and driving left of the center line, deputies said.

Cramerton police have also filed multiple charges against him including three counts of assault with a deadly weapon on a government official, felony fleeing to elude arrest, careless and reckless driving, speeding and two counts each of first-degree trespass, felony breaking and entering and felony larceny.

Stewart spent more than two years in prison for larceny in Gaston County in 2007 and has similar felony convictions in 2003 and 2000, according to the North Carolina Department of Correction website.

Additional felony offenses on his record date back to 1992 and include assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, breaking and entering and drug-related charges. Misdemeanor convictions include property damage, two separate DWIs and attempted larceny, the site showed.


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