A Clinton man has been charged with kidnapping, drug and hit-and-run offenses following a crazy sequence on Beaman Street Friday that ended with a stolen vehicle wrecked into a tree off U.S. 701 Business and two transported to the hospital.
Airatren Kaun Stevens, 35, of 115-D Royal Lane Apartments, Clinton, has been charged with felony larceny, kidnapping, felony hit-and-run and possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver a Schedule II controlled substance. He was placed under $150,000 secured bond for the offenses.
According to Clinton Police officials, a Toyota 4-Runner was stolen around 1:05 p.m. Friday from Building Bridges physical therapy center on Beaman Street, Clinton. The truck was taken from Jermelle Smith of Eastover Avenue, Clinton. Nasheema Henry, also of Eastover Avenue, was the owner of the vehicle.
Bertha Ann Williams, 53, of Stetson Street, Clinton, was the passenger in the vehicle and was actually picked up before the Toyota 4-Runner was reported stolen by Stevens. She was in the vehicle when it was taken “by force” from Smith, police said.
Traveling north on Beaman, Stevens lost control of the Toyota, barrelled through the U.S. 701 and Beaman Street intersection and careening through the grass lot near Isaac Weeks Road before striking a tree, police said.
“He jumped from the vehicle and tried to run,” Clinton Police Chief Donald Edwards said of Stevens. “Fortunately deputies were nearby and were able to detain him.”
Stevens was found in possession of 3.4 grams of Oxycontin, or 9 pills, Edwards noted.
“He was trying to consume some of the pills when he was arrested. Both he and Williams were transported to Sampson Regional Medical Center to be treated for their injuries, which were non-life-threatening. The air bags were deployed and there was some blood inside the vehicle, according to reports. No other vehicles were involved.
The single-vehicle wreck slowed traffic on U.S. 701 Business (Northeast Boulevard) Friday, as patrol cars lined the roadway and officers investigated the wrecked vehicle in the tree line near a busy intersection at Isaac Weeks Road.
After his release from the emergency room, Stevens was taken before the magistrate and was given a $150,000 secured bond.
Investigators haven’t been able to establish a motive in the incident, with police saying that Stevens was actually an acquaintance of the two females. Stevens also reportedly was not impaired at the time.
“We were able to rule out impairment from alcohol,” Edwards said.
Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.