A high-speed chase involving Duplin County deputies and a fleeing suspect came to an end with an injured kidnapped victim at the intersection of Southeast Boulevard and Warsaw Road.
The pursuit, which began between 10:30 and 11 a.m. resulted in the arrest of Ronald Ennis Jr. The 29-year-old Wilmington man was wanted for drug and assault warrants out of New Hanover and Durham counties. An injured female passenger told rescue workers that she was kidnapped early in the morning from Durham County. She was transported to WakeMed Hospital with severe injuries by Sampson County Emergency Medical Technicians.
Capt. Tim Jones of the Duplin County Sheriff’s Office reported that the incident began when his unit observed a white Honda Accord committing a traffic violation as it exited off of Interstate 40 at the Warsaw rest stop and began traveling eastbound on N.C. Highway 24.
“The suspect then fled at a high rate of speed heading west on N.C. 24 towards Clinton,” Jones said.
During the chase, Sampson County emergency officials were notified and while driving though the intersection of N.C. 24 and U.S. 701 Highway in Clinton, Ennis vehicle ran the stop light and collided with a pickup vehicle, owned by Sampson County.
“The chase ended there,” Jones said.
The Clinton Police Department assisted with the accident along with North Carolina Highway Patrol troopers.
“We have a good working relationship with all surrounding counties,” Jones said. “We work extremely well with our Sampson County partners.”
Jones said the driver of the pickup received medical attention for precautionary measures, but he was not transported to a hospital. Ennis was transported to Sampson Regional Medical Center, where he was medically evaluated and released into the custody of the Duplin County deputies.
“All of them were banged up,” said Jones, “but the most severe injuries were with the female.”
The kidnapping is being investigated by the Duplin County and Durham County officials. Charges against Ennis were not known as of press time.
“I’m just thankful that no one else was hurt or killed because of this young man’s actions,” Jones said.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.