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Man accused of leading authorities on wild chase to face judge

IREDELL COUNTY, N.C. — A wanted suspect involved in two chases in a matter of hours last month in Iredell County before he crashed on Interstate 77 and was taken into custody will face a judge Monday.

[IMAGES: Authorities chase van on I-77 in Iredell County]

Curtis Luther Dalton Jr., 28, is expected to be in court Monday morning.

Chopper 9 Skyzoom was the only local news helicopter in the area when the pilot and photographer spotted the chase involving a white van in Iredell County on April 27.

(Click PLAY to watch the chase)

Deputies initially said Dalton, who goes by the nickname "Bubba," was wanted in connection with a home invasion in Rowan County when he was spotted in Statesville.

Deputies later said it wasn’t a home invasion and found that Dalton was involved in an argument with his cousin, Harley Joe Dalton.

Curtis grabbed his rifle from his black Nissan and pointed it at Harley, while making a slashing motion across his neck, a police report said.

Officials then said Curtis drove away in his Nissan, while Harley called 911.

After the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office found that Curtis was currently wanted by police in Virginia, they obtained a warrant and pursued him, authorities said.

In the first chase, deputies attempted to stop the suspect on Turnersburg Highway, but he refused to stop. They pursued him in the area of Shoemaker Drive and West Debbie Lane. Dalton intentionally hit two deputies during his escape and then overturned the vehicle in the backyard of a home on Debbie Lane, according to deputies. They said Dalton fled and left an injured female passenger in the vehicle.

Authorities said they found multiple firearms in the vehicle.

(Curtis Luther Dalton Jr.)

After a Sheriff's Office K-9 tracked Dalton to an area on Cooper Farm Road, Dalton stole a white Chevy work van from a home in the area and a second chase began, deputies said.

Deputies tried to stop the white van several times by ramming it and using a PIT maneuver.

Chopper 9 Skyzoom was overhead when Dalton managed to get away and drove on the grass along the I-77 ramp and onto the interstate. From Chopper 9 Skyzoom, viewers could see the suspect vehicle ram the back of a law enforcement vehicle. That same law enforcement vehicle ended up hitting the back of the white van, causing it to crash into a guardrail near Turnersburg Highway.

(Click PLAY to watch highlights of the chase in Iredell County)

"Given the dangerous behavior and his direction of travel, toward an elementary school within a half-mile, this suspect needed to be stopped and arrested immediately," Sheriff Darren Campbell said.

More than a dozen law enforcement officers surrounded Dalton's vehicle with their guns drawn. They pulled him out of the van, took him to the ground and arrested him.

Dalton is charged with six counts of assault with a deadly weapon on a law enforcement officer, speeding to elude arrest, larceny of a motor vehicle and careless and reckless driving.

Dalton has been on the run for months for drug charges in Virginia, authorities said.

His family and friends said that before the chase, Dalton broke into their home in Cleveland.

“He's on meth, he's on heroin, he's on coke, crack pills,” they said.

Family members said Dalton shot out their car, broke a window in their home with a knife, stole $300 and took anxiety and pain medicine.

Dalton’s family and friends believe he ran from police because he doesn't want to go back to prison. He served more than a year in Virginia.

Dalton is likely facing decades behind bars.

While his family isn't sure if they will see him as a free man again, they think the arrest will save his life

“Bubba needs help, Bubba needs a rehab, some counseling, something to straighten his head out,” they said.

Dalton was taken to Iredell Memorial Hospital for treatment of injuries sustained during the chase. The female passenger was treated and released from Davis Regional Medical Center.

Dalton was wanted on warrants from Rowan County in connection with the home invasion. He was also wanted out of Hillsville, Virginia, on several felony warrants.

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