CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A wild police chase that started in Gastonia Friday afternoon finally ended in Charlotte when the car police were after crashed into a utility pole at the busy intersection of Central Avenue and The Plaza.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said the passenger, Antwan Devont Oliphant, was arrested after he and the driver bailed out of the vehicle after it slammed into the pole.
The search for the driver, who got away, continues.
The end of the chase came during the start of afternoon rush hour, as many people were going in and out of shops and the Harris Teeter located on Central Avenue.
One of those who saw what happened was Meredith Payton, who said, “They ran into the silver car in front of them and then hit the telephone pole, got out and ran.”
Oliphant was quickly caught by police and was put in the back of a police cruiser, right in front of Sara Bickerton, who was near the Harris Teeter.
“I mean, he was real complacent. They turned him around, sat him down and took his shoes off,” she said.
Police said it was Oliphant who they were looking for when a Highway Patrol trooper spotted him riding in the SUV with another man.
Trooper J.J. Waters tried to stop the SUV but it took off at a high rate of speed.
“I know on the interstate we were just in excess of 100 mph and on some back roads, I don’t think we ever got below 40 or 45 mph,” Trooper Waters said.
CMPD’s Aviation Unit assisted in the pursuit.
At one point CMPD said the SUV struck several vehicles, causing minor injuries to the occupants of one vehicle.
Crews worked into the night to repair the power pole that had been knocked over.
Oliphant was wanted on a slew of charges including two counts of larceny of motor vehicle parts, possession of a stolen vehicle, and larceny of a motor vehicle.