James Austin

James Austin

INDIAN TRAIL — James Oliver Austin, 34, of Charlotte was arrested following a pursuit that began Tuesday (July 21) afternoon in the Indian Trail Wal-Mart parking lot, according to a report from the Union County Sheriff’s Office.

A Union County Sheriff’s deputy saw a male in the driver’s seat of a gray Dodge Challenger who appeared to be passed out, according to the report. The deputy checked the registration displayed on the vehicle and determined the plate was fictitious. After the deputy approached the vehicle and knocked on the passenger side window, the driver (Austin) sped away and began traveling west on US 74, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Austin reportedly accelerated to speeds in excess of 120 miles per hour before reaching Windsor Square in Matthews.

Austin led deputies through Windsor Square and back out to Sam Newell Road. The suspect continued to flee and traveled through an apartment complex off of Margaret Wallace Road before he was eventually stopped in a neighborhood off Idlewild near Crosswinds and Sunflower Drive in east Charlotte, according to the report. Once stopped, Austin refused commands to exit the vehicle and appeared to be ingesting a white powder substance, according to the report. Deputies removed him from the vehicle and took him into custody before Medic transported him to Novant Matthews for chemical testing. He was later released to deputies and taken to the Union County Jail.

Deputies filed numerous charges against Austin, a convicted felon, in connection with the chase and also served warrants from a previous incident in Mecklenburg County. Austin’s charges include: Felony Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle, Larceny of Motor Vehicle, Conspiracy to Commit Felony Larceny, Chop Shop Activity, Fleeing to Elude, Driving While Impaired, Reckless Driving to Endanger, Assault with Deadly Weapon and other moving violations.