Victim, witnesses say crash near South End Rail Trail looked like end of police pursuit

CHARLOTTE — A man with warrants out of Cleveland County was arrested Wednesday in Charlotte after fleeing from police, authorities said.

Multiple witnesses and a victim told Channel 9 that a serious crash in South End Wednesday evening looked like the end of a police pursuit. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department clarified about 24 hours later it was not a “pursuit.”

Around 5 p.m. that day, Chopper 9 Skyzoom flew over the scene, which was at West Park Avenue and Camden Road near the Rail Trail.

Camden Road was blocked off near the light rail during the investigation. A pickup truck and a tan Lexus sedan were seen with damage from the collision.

Now, one man who was hurt in that crash is asking questions. Mike Field told Channel 9′s Hunter Sáenz he was doing alright after the crash but said he’s still sore along the left side of his body.

“I feel blessed that I’m standing right here right now,” he said.

Field said he was leaving work Wednesday and was driving along Camden Road when he was hit. He said the white truck was driving fast toward him, flying through at least one intersection. Before he knew it, that truck rammed right into him, he said.

“Three feet farther this way and I probably wouldn’t be able to talk to you,” he told Sáenz.

Field said he passed out for a few seconds and when he came to, police cars were all over the scene. He said he has a video of officers arresting the man who was driving the white truck.

Several witnesses, along with Field himself, told Sáenz they saw multiple police cars with their lights flashing pursuing a white truck at a high rate of speed through South End before the crash.

Field said he was sure it was a police pursuit, and added he understands and appreciates the work police officers do in our community. He said though he used to be all for officers going after suspects, this has given him a new perspective.

“Someone could have died here,” Field said. “This was more than just a high-speed pursuit. Maybe a way of approaching this that, in a populated area where there’s so many pedestrians, at 5:00 in the afternoon. Somebody easily could have been hit.”

He doesn’t know what the solution is, but he just wants to know why the police were going after the driver. He also wanted to set the record straight that this wasn’t simply a crash that officers were responding to.

“I’m absolutely certain it was a chase,” he said.

CMPD said it wasn’t a pursuit because the police “helicopter was in the area and monitoring the suspect vehicle’s location and communicating with ground officers.” However, Channel 9 spoke with witnesses who said they saw patrol cars with their blue lights and sirens on.

Sáenz dug further into who the man was in the video that Field shot.

Peter Roberson was arrested after fleeing from the police and is facing several charges, including three counts of hit-and-run, fleeing and eluding arrest, and resisting/delaying/obstructing public officers.

The start of the incident happened when CMPD tried to pull over Roberson for a traffic stop Wednesday. He had warrants out of Cleveland County, including felony assault on law enforcement.

Roberson fled the traffic stop at a high rate of speed, CMPD said.

After hitting vehicles in Uptown and South End, Roberson ran from his vehicle.

Officers arrested him after a foot chase.

According to the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s website, he’s also facing charges of possession of a stolen motor vehicle, larceny of a motor vehicle, among other charges. It’s unclear when those crimes took place.

“Boy, going through that area with that many pedestrians, in that tight of streets and everyone coming out of work, that was probably not the best place to be driving that fast,” Field said.

He said he’s now dealing with the mess of trying to replace his car, but he’s grateful he managed to walk away from this.

“Even though it hurts, it’s a good thing,” Field said.

Return to this story for more information.

VIDEO: Victim, witnesses say crash near South End Rail Trail looked like end of police pursuit

Hunter Sáenz

Hunter Sáenz, wsoctv.com

Hunter is a reporter for Channel 9.