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Driver arrested after long chase
Equan Dunston handcuffed after his capture
LOUISBURG — A Spring Hope man who led officers on a two-county chase made his first appearance in court this week. But the case against Equan C. Dunston, 22, continues.

Dunston was arrested at about 6 p.m. on Dec. 5 after authorities allege he eluded a traffic stop in Spring Hope and led authorities on a chase through that town, into Franklin County, along Louisburg’s main thoroughfare at rush hour, and back into the county before officers were able to spin him out.

Authorities said Dunston’s speed never got into triple digits, but based on the time of day, authorities decided to take him out on a country road when the chance presented itself.

“He wasn’t really speeding,” said Franklin County Sheriff Jerry Jones, “but he was running stop signs.

“We just had to get him stopped.”

It took time and effort.

Authorities allege Dunston came into Franklin County along Sykes Road, making his way up to Sledge Road and N.C. 581.

“We deployed Stop Sticks,” said Capt. E.H. Smith, “but he dodged them.”

Dunston, authorities said, then drove across a yard on Hickory Rock Road before continuing to N.C. 561 and onto Perdues Road, where Capt. William Mitchell and Smith tried to block him.

“He drove down an embankment and back onto N.C. 561,” Smith said.

Officers again deployed Stop Sticks, this time at N.C. 561 near the radio station.

Dunston swerved to miss them, proceeding into Louisburg along Bickett Boulevard, and rush hour traffic.

Louisburg police helped block traffic and escape routes. Dunston eventually led more than a dozen Spring Hope and Franklin County officers back out into the county along N.C. 56.

He turned off onto Leonard Farm Road to George Leonard Road before getting onto Mort Harris Road. He was heading back toward N.C. 581, authorities said, when they performed a pit maneuver — spinning out the back of the car — to stop Dunston.

Dunston was taken into custody without incident. No injuries were reported.

Authorities allege Dunston avoided the initial traffic stop in Spring Hope because he did not have a license.

Dunston was slated to appear in Franklin County District Court on Dec. 10, facing two counts of assault with a deadly weapon on a government official — Dunston is alleged to have nearly hit two officers during an attempted stop — and felony fleeing to elude arrest.

He appeared in court on Dec. 10. His next Franklin County court date is March 25. Dunston is also facing Nash County charges of fleeing to elude arrest, reckless driving to endanger, failing to heed lights and sirens, failure to yield at a stop sign and failing to stop for a flashing red light, and speeding. He is to appear in Nash on Jan. 14.

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