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Man who reportedly fired at police, lead multi-county chase arrested

Austin Nathaniel Hannon was arrested in Cleveland County after leading law enforcement on a chase through Lincoln and Gaston counties late Friday.
Credit: Lincoln County Sheriff's Office

CLEVELAND COUNTY, N.C. — A man who reportedly shot at police and led them on a multi-county chase late Friday night has been taken into custody, the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office confirmed in a Facebook post.

Authorities identified the man as 22-year-old Austin Nathaniel Hannon.

Late Friday night, deputies with the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office went to a home near the 2200 block of Magnolia Grove Road outside Iron Station with the intentions of locating Hannon, who was wanted for failing to appear in court on drug-related charges. 

When the first deputy arrived in his marked patrol vehicle, Hannon is accused of driving a pickup truck head-on into the deputy's vehicle. Hannon continued driving towards Philadelphia Church Road. The deputy, who was not injured in the crash, was unable to pursue Hannon because of smoke and damage to his vehicle.

A second deputy continued the chase and observed Hannon crashing into several other parked cars on Magnolia Grove Road.

The chase continued into Gaston County and ultimately ended in the Mary's Grove area of Cleveland County.

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As a result of the chase, Hannon is being charged with felony fleeing in a motor vehicle to elude arrest, felony assault with a deadly weapon on a government official, and misdemeanor injury to personal property.  

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Arrest records from the North Carolina Department of Public Safety show Hannon was convicted twice previously for resisting an officer. He has also previously been charged with assault and drug-related offenses.

He was scheduled to appear in court Monday.

Note: WCNC instituted a new policy in March 2021 regarding the broadcast or posting of mugshots.  

WCNC will only air or post a mugshot if the person has been formally charged with a crime and in a few other cases. The exceptions include: If it appears the person could be a danger to themselves or others or if they are wanted by authorities; to differentiate between people with a common name; if the photos could encourage more victims to come forward. The news-editorial leadership may also decide to use a mugshot based on the severity of the crime(s) committed and/or the level of public interest in the crime and ensuing criminal proceedings.

Because the suspect is deemed armed and dangerous, his mugshot is being shown.

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