WNC chase suspect hits two police cruisers, parks in own back yard say deputies

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Teddy Justin Rathbone

MCDOWELL COUNTY, NC (WSPA) – Deputies in western North Carolina say a domestic dispute outside a Walmart led to a chase on Interstate 40 that stretched across two counties.

Investigators say the suspect rammed into two sheriff’s office cars before he parked the truck in his own back yard.

Teddy Justin Rathbone, 27, is charged with several offenses by the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies were called to Walmart on a report of a domestic incident involving a gun around 11:45 p.m. Sunday.

Rathbone left the shopping area in a green pickup truck and led McDowell County deputies onto a chase on I-40 in both the eastbound and westbound directions.

The pursuit entered into Buncombe County where authorities put down stop sticks to try to end the chase. Deputies followed Rathbone off the interstate onto some back roads, U.S. 70 and Flat Creek Road.

It’s there where McDowell County investigators say the suspect rammed two of the office’s cruisers. No one was injured.

The chase ended when deputies say Rathbone parked in the back yard of his home on Flat Creek Road and he was arrested.

Rathbone is charged with two counts of fleeing to elude arrest plus charges of driving while license revoked, possession of drug paraphernalia, reckless driving to endanger and driving left of center.