CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A Texas man is facing numerous charges after an hours-long chase through Charlotte ended in a crash Wednesday.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officials identified the suspect as 26-year-old Tyler Harding of Elgin, Texas, and said he was new to the Charlotte area.
Harding is accused of stealing four vehicles Wednesday while fleeing from police in a chase that caused two crashes.
“I saw a car come flying at me from the other direction and he swerved,” said Caryann Curtis, a witness.
Police said the incident started as a residential breaking-and-entering call. Harding allegedly sped away from officers in a Jeep.
From there, police said Harding stole three additional vehicles, including a white pickup truck, a gold sedan, and a black Infinity SUV.
While fleeing from authorities, Harding slammed into two vehicles. No one was seriously injured, officials said.
“He came right across us — hit another truck,” another witness told Queen City News.
The second crash ended the pursuit in front of the Shell gas station at the intersection of South Boulevard and East Blvd.
After the 90-minute chase, Harding exited his vehicle and surrendered to police. After he was released from the hospital, he was charged with four counts of vehicle theft, two counts of felony hit and run, possession of a stolen vehicle, felony flee to elude and burglary. He was also issued numerous traffic citations.
Police also identified 28-year-old Christa Brooke Harding as Tyler Harding’s passenger at some point in the pursuit. She was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle.
On Wednesday, CMPD officials said officers didn’t engage with him for some time because of policy and the fact they had to weigh in on the risk to the public.
CMPD Police Chief Jennings released the following statement, in part:
This is absolutely appalling that someone would have this much disregard for the general public. The CMPD pursuit policy prohibited us from chasing this suspect up until the point when the suspect carjacked the last vehicle, not knowing if an abduction had taken place. In these situations, police are in a no-win situation.
I am proud of our CMPD response in providing closure without serious injury.