ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. (WFXR) — A Danville, Virginia man was taken into custody Wednesday night after he reportedly stole a car that he tried to buy with fake money in North Carolina and led deputies on a high-speed pursuit that ended with a crash.
According to the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina, at approximately 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 20, deputies responded to the U.S. 29 Bypass to look for a black 2018 Tesla Model 3 after it was reported stolen from the High Point area.
Authorities searching the area were reportedly told that a man tried to buy the Tesla from another man in High Point using counterfeit money.
Deputies from Guilford County reported seeing the Tesla heading north on U.S. 29 and crossing over into Rockingham County before they lost sight of it, officials say. Then, Rockingham County deputies spotted the vehicle going at a high speed on U.S. 29 North near the Freeway Drive offramp and initiated a pursuit.
According to the sheriff’s office, the car continued to speed away from the deputies and exited onto Mayfield Road in Ruffin, where it crashed into a guardrail.
The driver — who was the only person in the Tesla — reportedly got out of the car and tried to escape on foot, jumping off the Mayfield offramp bridge onto the U.S. 29 bypass below.
However, the driver — identified by authorities as 26-year-old Cortavious Rey-Ray Johnson of Danville — then surrendered to Rockingham County deputies.
Johnson suffered minor injuries from the crash and from the jump, but officials say he refused any medial treatment from EMS.
“I am very proud of my Deputies for arresting this fleeing theft suspect from High Point,” said Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page. “I learned last night that those ‘Teslas’ can travel very fast, and Mr. Johnson learned that no matter how fast you flee, you can’t outrun law enforcement’s radios. Again, I commend my Deputies and all the law enforcement officers involved in this investigation.”
The Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office charged Johnson with resisting, obstruct, and delay while the High Point Police Department charged him with larceny of a motor vehicle, obtaining property by false pretense, uttering a forged instrument, and possession of counterfeit currency. Additional charges my be filed in the future, officials say.
Johnson was brought to the Rockingham County Detention Facility under a $105,000 secured bond, according to the sheriff’s office.