Bond raised for suspect charged with several felonies in cross-Charlotte chase

CHARLOTTE — The bond for the driver arrested after attempting to flee from police in Charlotte was raised Friday to an amount almost 7 times higher than the initial bond.

Tyler Harding, 26, is facing multiple criminal charges related to the crosstown crime spree.

During Harding’s first appearance in court Friday morning, the judge increased his total bond amount from $115,000 to $800,000.

Chopper 9 Skyzoom caught dramatic moments throughout the incident around noon Wednesday. It started with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department monitoring the suspect from a police helicopter just before 11 a.m. and ended just after 1:30 p.m. Skyzoom captured the suspect crashing into multiple vehicles in busy sections of Charlotte and even stealing new getaway vehicles during the incident.

CMPD identified Harding as the suspect Thursday morning. Channel 9 verified Harding as the suspect by matching the incident to case summaries filed in Mecklenburg County, which also list several victims in the hours-long incident.

Jail records say Harding is facing the following charges after being taken into custody following the chase:

  • Breaking or entering a motor vehicle
  • Breaking and/or entering
  • Felony hit-and-run
  • Flee/Elude arrest with a motor vehicle
  • Four counts of larceny of a motor vehicle -- three felony, one misdemeanor
  • Possession of a stolen motor vehicle
  • Misdemeanor larceny
  • Second-degree burglary

He then appeared in court on July 19 for two additional misdemeanor larceny charges.

Harding’s next court dates are a bond hearing set for July 21 and a probable cause hearing set for July 28.

(WATCH BELOW: Some of the most intense moments during the nearly 3-hour high-speed chase through Charlotte)

CMPD told Channel 9 on Wednesday that a police helicopter began following Tyler Harding’s vehicle after a break-in was reported at a home and a Jeep was stolen.

Police tracked the Jeep at a McDonald’s drive-thru on South Tryon Street near I-77. Tyler Harding fled from police after an officer tried to stop him. CMPD did not chase him.

He abandoned the Jeep Orchard Circle and got into a stolen pickup truck when his sister, Christa Harding, joined him. They drove to South Carolina where Lancaster County sheriff’s deputies tried to stop them.

Skyzoom located the white pickup truck after that.

At about noon, the pickup truck pulled into the Walmart on South Tryon Street in south Charlotte where it crashed into a parked car. The Hardings were seen getting out of the truck and getting into an unoccupied Toyota Corolla that was parked and left running.

Christa Harding got out of the pickup truck and made a gesture to Tyler Harding before he drove away in the Toyota. Christa Harding was taken into custody.

Harding kept driving recklessly and ended up crashing the Toyota into another car that was stopped at the intersection of Ballantyne Commons Parkway and Johnston Road. At that point, he was seen frantically looking for another vehicle to get into, and he ended up stealing a black Infinity SUV.

The driver of a pickup truck, Abrahan Nassar, rammed the back of the SUV in an attempt to stop Harding on Park Road near Woodlawn Road. Nassar’s truck was disabled. The attempt failed and Nassar was cited for driving without a license.

At about 1:30 p.m., Harding was taken into custody after a crash in the intersection of East and South boulevards. Skyzoom caught video of Harding jumping out of the stolen SUV and surrendering to police with his hands up.

Tens of thousands of people watched Channel 9′s live stream of the incident Wednesday, and many on social media questioned why CMPD hadn’t forcefully stopped Harding’s vehicle. We asked CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings immediately after the crash, to explain the decisions made by officers during the incident, and he pointed to the department’s pursuit policy, which prohibited them from chasing the suspect “until the point when the suspect carjacked the last vehicle, not knowing if an abduction had taken place.”

We looked into Harding’s criminal history and didn’t find any prior charges in Mecklenburg County, but he has a history of similar charges in Texas. Harding was indicted in Bastrop County for felony evading arrest with a motor vehicle after an incident in August of 2019, according to criminal court records in Bastrop County, and he was arrested in Travis County for evading arrest with a motor vehicle in 2018 and unauthorized use of a vehicle in 2019, according to Travis County court records.

Harding was listed in custody Thursday morning in Mecklenburg County with bonds totaling $115,000. He’s scheduled to be in court for a hearing Friday afternoon.

Christa Harding is facing a charge for possession of a stolen vehicle and set to be in court Thursday morning.

WATCH BELOW: Hours-long high-speed chase through Charlotte ends in crash at busy intersection