• Woman whose stolen car was involved in chase grateful no one was hurt

    By: Liz Foster , Mark Barber

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Authorities are searching for the suspect who they said robbed and assaulted a man before leading police on a pursuit in a stolen car Monday evening, speeding erratically across the streets and highways of Charlotte.

    [IMAGES: Possible shooting suspect leads CMPD on car chase into uptown Charlotte]

    The family, whose car was stolen and used in the chase, spoke for the first time Tuesday exclusively to Channel 9 through a translator from Telemundo Charlotte.

    Detectives said a man was walking along Cherrycrest Lane around 6 p.m. when two suspects approached him and robbed him at gunpoint. Shots were fired during the robbery but the victim was not hit by a bullet. Police said he was assaulted, though, and was taken to the hospital with a head injury.

    Around 6:30 p.m., police spotted the suspect's vehicle -- which was a 2003 Nissan Altima that was stolen from a 7-Eleven on April 12 -- and tried to pull the car over on North Graham Street.

    The family spoke with Telemundo Charlotte reporter Sylvia Oben about what happened there.

    "Her husband was doing things like shop at the supermarket, then he stopped at that gas station, 7-Eleven, and once he came back, his car wasn't there," Oben said.

    The driver refused to stop, leading to the pursuit, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said.

    During the chase, the car reached speeds close to 110 mph, according to CMPD.

    The car could be seen from Chopper 9 Skyzoom weaving in and out of traffic, even driving the wrong way at one point.

    After about 20 minutes, the driver let a passenger out in the Reid Park neighborhood off of West Boulevard, near the airport.

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    That person was immediately taken into custody. Their name has not been released.

    The driver led police into uptown Charlotte where he abandoned the Nissan around 7 p.m. at South Tryon and Fourth streets, police said.

    He was able to run away between buildings and has not been caught.

    The mother, whose car was used in this dangerous chase, is thankful her two children weren't inside when it was stolen.

    "She's grateful the person who was driving the car didn't kill anyone, and it's super hard to see that," Oben said.

    “All of a sudden, we saw about three squad cars coming very, very fast around the corner,” witness Dane Zumbahlen said.

    “Very fearful. You’ve got kids, women, everybody walking around,” Danny Conway, who was in uptown, said.

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    There were no wrecks during the pursuit.

    “Just hearing that no one got hurt -- that’s crazy to think,” said Jodi Keller, who was uptown Monday night. “The odds of no one getting seriously hurt.”

    Police said the car used in Monday's chase was stolen around 1 p.m. on April 12 from the 7-Eleven on University City Boulevard.

    Officials said the keys were left in the ignition of the Nissan while the driver went inside the business. When they came back out, the car was gone.

    Check back with wsoctv.com for updates on this story.

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