Police are on the hunt for a Union County man accused of leading officers on a vehicular chase through Lincolnton Thursday night following an undercover drug bust.
Jonathan Christopher Wise, 28, allegedly sold Methadone pills to an undercover city officer just after 7 p.m., according to Det. Sgt. Jason Munday with the Lincolnton Police Department.
Once police attempted to arrest the suspect, he jumped in his vehicle and fled the area, headed toward the Hampton Inn on Roper Road, Munday said.
Officers were assisted by Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputies, the Gaston County K-9 unit, troopers with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol and a Cherryville police officer, whom Munday said was on his way home from his shift at the time.
Law enforcement pursued Wise’s white Nissan Pathfinder toward the dead end road.
During the chase, the suspect damaged portions of the Hampton Inn landscape, police said, before stopping his vehicle near the Lincoln Correctional Center.
After jumping from his vehicle and fleeing the site around 9:30 p.m., Wise knocked on an elderly woman’s door asking her to transport him to the hospital for injuries including cuts, abrasions, and bleeding, Munday said.
While the Lincoln County Communications Center used its reverse 911 system to alert area residents to the incident and seek their help in locating Wise, officers failed to find him, police said.
According to the Communications Center’s Coordinator and Deputy Director Coral Saunders, residents can be alerted of any area threat, including weather-related scenarios via text, email or voice communication.
The system only alerts those residents located within a certain geographical region.
Currently, more than 30,000 people have signed up for the alerts, Saunders said.
Police notified area hospitals in Lincoln, Catawba and Gaston Counties of the suspect’s description in case he admitted himself for medical treatment at one of the facilities.
The suspect has several outstanding warrants to his name including felony fleeing to elude arrest, assault with a deadly weapon on a government official and various other drug-related charges.
According to the North Carolina Department of Correction website, Wise already has a felony drug conviction for trafficking a schedule VI controlled substance in Union County in 2010. He was also found guilty of misdemeanor resisting an officer, the site showed.
Wise spent 2.5 years in a state correctional facility for the offenses.
Police issued a press release Thursday night, asking the public’s help in locating the suspect, last seen wearing a white polo shirt and blue jeans, officers said.
The Hispanic or “mixed-race” man is described as being 5-foot-4 to 5-foot-7 and weighing about 160 pounds.
Police said Wise also has a gap between his front teeth.
Anyone with information on the suspect is asked to contact the Lincolnton Police Department at (704) 736-8900 or Crimestoppers at (704) 736-8909. Any tip leading to an arrest may result in a reward of up to $1,000. Tips may remain anonymous.
Individuals interested in signing up for the reverse 911 system can visit lincolncounty.org and click “LINCALERTS” or “LINCINFO” under the “Quick Links” header.