CAROLINA FOREST, SC (WMBF) – One man was arrested after a vehicle reported as stolen fled from police collided with a police vehicle, and then stopped on Highway 501 near Carolina Forest, according to Conway Police.
Conway Police officers responded to the Murphy Express on Church Street in reference to the vehicle, which police say was stolen out of North Carolina, according to a news release from Conway Police. Two people were in the vehicle, and upon approach, the driver put the vehicle into reverse and collided with an officer's vehicle before fleeing the scene.
Police reports say the suspect ignored police commands and jumped the side walk of a convenient store in the vehicle and proceeded into the grassy area and into the Wal-Mart parking then continued toward Office Depot and left to Church Street driving South.
The chase continued past Mill Pond Road and Sixteenth Avenue, the suspect disregarded traffic signals and continued avoiding more traffic signals at East Cox Ferry and Singleton Ridge Road. The pursuit continued past Singleton Road and officers lost sight of the vehicle.
The vehicle was located in the ditch of Carolina Forest Boulevard and West Perry Road. An employee from the Waffle House informed police the suspect ran behind the restaurant towards the woods.
After an extensive search the cell phone GPS directed police behind Dunkin Donuts on US-501. An employee at the business said the suspect could possibly be inside the building. Horry County Police entered the store and found a black male that was soaked with water, the suspect matched the description and was escorted out.
A WMBF News crew arrived at the location at about 3 a.m. to find a car crashed into a ditch. A witness said after the crash, two men jumped out and ran in different directions.
The driver, 22-year-old Joseph Tobiah Thomas of Charlotte, was apprehended, and 14.6 grams of marijuana was seized, police stated.
No officers were injured during the incident.
Thomas was charged with failure to stop for blue lights, leaving the scene of an accident with property damage, possession of stolen property, and possession of a stolen auto.
Additional charges are pending, and the second subject is still unknown at this time, according to police.