Accused robber drives wrong way on I-77, crashes 3 times, steals CMPD SUV in 30-minute span in Charlotte

Nation & World News

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – A robbery suspect led authorities on a chase through Charlotte Wednesday night; driving the wrong way on I-77, crashing three separate times, and stealing a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police SUV before crashing near Northlake Mall.

The suspect has been identified as Rashawn Coleman, 22. He has been charged with:

  • Common-Law Robbery
  • Assault with Deadly Weapon on Government Official
  • Larceny of Motor Vehicle
  • Felony Hit & Run
  • Resist Public Officer (X2)
  • Misdemeanor Hit & Run
  • Operate Motor Vehicle While Fleeing to Elude Law Enforcement (X2)

The incident began when an AT&T store in Gaston County was robbed at gunpoint by a man Wednesday evening, July 29, police said.

CMPD officers were able to locate the suspect vehicle near Remount and Brookhill Road. The suspect drove northbound in the southbound lanes, against traffic, on I-77. Officers stopped following the vehicle when it became obvious that the danger to the public was too great.

The suspect then ran from his vehicle to an apartment complex located near the exit ramp; the Perimeter Lofts Apartments on Perimeter Station Drive, across from Northlake Mall.

CMPD’s helicopter was overhead tracking the suspect. An on-duty CMPD K-9 officer came into the parking lot and encountered the wanted man. The suspect was able to overpower the officer during a brief struggle and stole a marked CMPD SUV, authorities said.

Rashawn Coleman is facing multiple charges including common-law robbery, felony hit-and-run, and assault with deadly weapon on government official.

The K-9 was not in the vehicle as he was already out of the SUV in the parking lot, CMPD said. The CMPD officer was drug by the wanted man as he drove off.

While in the parking lot of the apartment complex, the suspect, while driving the stolen CMPD SUV, crashed into an unoccupied parked car about 50-75 feet away. The officer being dragged was thrown free when the crash occurred. Thankfully, he only received minor injuries.

The wanted man then drove out of the apartment parking lot to about one block away. At the intersection of Northlake West Blvd., the suspect, who was still driving the stolen CMPD SUV, struck a civilian car, police said.

A man who had been inside the car was taken to the hospital for minor injuries.

The suspect drove the stolen out-of-control CMPD SUV off the roadway into some woods down a steep embankment, police said. The CMPD vehicle received extensive damage.

The suspect then surrendered without further incident and was taken to the hospital for minor injuries, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police.

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