Copied from The Dispatch, a local newspaper
(My dad and sis witnessed the near-end of the chase)
December 20. 2005 12:00AM
Deputies hurt, cars damaged in chase
By ESE ISIORHO
A Virginia man is in custody after a 25-to-30-mile car chase involving 15 Davidson County Sheriff’s Office vehicles, four N.C. Highway Patrol cars and several Lexington Police Department vehicles Monday afternoon.
Ruben Noel Torres, 36, of Welford Avenue in Richmond, Va., led officials on a chase that resulted in the injury of two sheriff’s deputies, the damage of six sheriff’s vehicles and the wreck of Torres’ stolen 2005 Dodge Stratus rental car, said Davidson County Sheriff David Grice.
During a struggle with Torres, Maj. Chris Coble sustained broken bones in his right hand and Detective Robert Miller suffered bruising to the bone of his right knee.
The chase, which reached speeds of 100 mph, began after a sheriff’s deputy attempted a traffic stop on Interstate 85 near mile marker 94 because Torres was following too closely, Grice said. When the officer approached the car, Torres sped off. After contacting the 911 communications center, the officer learned that Torres was considered armed and dangerous due to a prior assault on a law enforcement officer.
Torres left I-85 at the Highway 8 exit and drove through Lexington at excessive speeds prompting the Lexington Police Department to get involved, Chief John Lollis said. Officers attempted to halt the fleeing vehicle with “stop sticks” but were unsuccessful.
The Virginia man drove across a walking track and an embankment during the chase and continued on side streets toward South Main Street, Grice said.
During the pursuit, two sheriff’s vehicles collided at the intersection of Second Avenue and Main Street. The officers pulled the fender off one of the cars, placed it in the back seat and continued the chase, Grice said.
Torres eventually left the city and headed west on Old Highway 64 in the vicinity of Forest Hill Memorial Park.
The Virginia man made it to Old Highway 29 near Belmont Road Extension, where the road was blocked due to construction, officers said. He crashed his vehicle and officers were able to arrest him.
Torres, who admitted to smoking crack while attempting to elude officers, Grice said, had just been released from Deep Meadows Prison in Virginia after serving a 30-month sentence for attempting to elude officers in a stolen vehicle.
“He was obviously pretty high on the cocaine,” the sheriff said after the arrest.
Torres is wanted for probation violation by the N.C. Department of Correction and for larceny of a motor vehicle in Winston-Salem and is a fugitive from Virginia for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
He was charged with 13 counts, including possession of a stolen vehicle, assault with a deadly weapon and speeding to elude arrest with a motor vehicle. Additional assault with a deadly weapon charges, for striking officers’ cars, are pending.
Torres is being held on a $100,000 secured bond in the Davidson County Jail and is scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 31.
Ese Isiorho can be reached at 249-3981, ext. 228, or at email@example.com.