03/23/05 — Rush-hour chase on Berkeley ends in Seven Springs

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Rush-hour chase on Berkeley ends in Seven Springs

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on March 23, 2005 2:00 PM

A wild rush-hour chase on North Berkeley Boulevard startled residents Tuesday afternoon. It ended 30 minutes after it started with the arrest of a man wanted on serious felony charges.

The chase ended in Seven Springs, where Wayne County Sheriff Carey Winders cut off the suspect's pickup truck and arrested the 35-year-old man.

James Dean Elswick of North George Street was charged by Goldsboro police with multiple traffic offenses. The Sheriff's Office is expected to file more serious charges.

The Sheriff's Office had broadcast information Tuesday morning about a red and black pickup with a white man and a white woman who were wanted for serious felony charges.

Police Maj. M.D. Hopper said Officer Dave Cloutier saw the pickup at about 5:20 p.m. and tried to stop it at South Slocumb and East Elm streets. The pickup sped toward Berkeley Boulevard.

By then the chase was on. About eight other police cars joined the northbound pursuit, weaving around stopped rush-hour traffic.

Onlookers said the truck sped through the McDonald's parking lot at the corner of Berkeley and Graves before heading east on Graves.

Hopper said the truck turned on Graves Drive, Malloy Street, Cashwell Drive, Dr. M.L. King Jr. Expressway, Oak Forest Road, Miller's Chapel Road and back to U.S. 70. The pickup then sped south on N.C. 111 and turned on N.C. 55 -- with police and deputies in pursuits at speeds that reached at least 80 mph.

Finally Winders cut off the pickup at Spring Street, jumped out and arrested the driver.

Elswick was charged by police with felony fleeing to elude arrest, reckless driving, driving while his license was revoked and two counts of speeding. His secured bond was set at $5,000.

Elswick also was wanted on an outstanding arrest order by the Sheriff's Office. His bond was set at $2,000.

His wife, Jennifer Renee Elswick, also was held on an outstanding arrest order for failure to appear in court.

Jumping into a chase is not new for Winders. In August 2003, he heard a radio broadcast about the armed robbery of a convenience store at U.S. 70 and N.C. 581 while he was lifting weights. He jumped in his car, stopped the suspect vehicle on Buck Swamp Road and arrested five people. The five also were implicated in other holdups, then were tried, convicted and sentenced.