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N.C. fugitive spotted at Covington gas station

COVINGTON -- A Covington police officer spotted a man at a Covington QuikTrip on Friday about 12:30 a.m. who was wanted out of Charlotte, N.C., for allegedly running over and dragging a police officer who was attempting to arrest him on entering auto charges. He was apprehended, but not before leading multiple police agencies on a chase and manhunt.

According to CPD Public Information Officer Capt. Ken Malcom, the North Carolina incident occurred approximately 2 hours before a lookout was issued naming the suspect, Ivery Lovanda Chapel, was posted. The suspect was said to be driving a white Dodge Charger with North Carolina plates and was believed to have been traveling Interstate 20 west toward Atlanta.

CPD Officer Justin Blankenship was at the QT gas station on Ga. Highway 142, across from Walmart, and observed a vehicle matching the description of the one on the lookout that the CPD had received only minutes before.

"Officer Blankenship went by the vehicle and ran the vehicle's registration information," Malcom said. "As he came back around the building, a subject came out of the store and got into the vehicle and exited the lot, heading towards I-20 west."

Malcom said at that point, Blankenship was waiting for Officer Hayward DeRouen to initiate a felony stop on the suspect's vehicle.

"As Officer Blankenship and Officer DeRouen initiated their emergency equipment, the vehicle immediately increased its speed and began an attempt to elude our officers," Malcom said.

As the suspect sped up I-20, deputies from the Newton County Sheriff's Office and the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office became involved in the pursuit as well.

"As the vehicle entered Rockdale County, deputies from Rockdale County attempted a rolling road block. However, the suspect's vehicle got off at West Avenue and proceeded back onto I-20," Malcom said. "The chase continued to Panola Road and exited ... then proceeded about 3 miles into a residential area off Thompson Road in DeKalb County where the suspect crashed his vehicle and ran into a heavily wooded area."

The scene was turned over the DeKalb Police Department, which requested the CPD and NCSO officers at the scene help them in establishing a perimeter of the area. K-9 officers and air support joined the search of the heavily wooded area and a few hours later the suspect was apprehended.

"Officer Blankenship is to be commended for his keen observation skills along with his and Officer DeRouen's excellent pursuit driving skills during this very dangerous event," Malcom said. "Because of their actions and the work of our neighboring agencies, a very dangerous person is in custody."

Malcom said the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officer is expected to recover.