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Fugitive captured after police chase

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Man who allegedly ran from Hillsville officers wanted for armed robbery

Staff Report

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HILLSVILLE — Local police were involved in the pursuit and capture of an Ohio man wanted for armed robbery on May 11. A passenger in the vehicle is also charged.

According to a Hillsville Police Department report, Chief Wesley Yonce was on routine traffic patrol on Interstate 77 at Exit 14 when he stopped a Volkswagon Jetta with Ohio tags.

While checking the driver’s information, he found that the driver —Cortez Lashawn Alexander, of Cleveland, Ohio — was wanted for armed robbery in Cleveland and should be considered armed and dangerous.

Yonce called for backup. When it arrived, the reports says that Alexander “proceeded to take off to elude capture.”

Alexander led police on a high-speed chase from Carroll County into Wythe County, traveling north on I-77 to the Interstate 81 interchange. At this point, the chase involved the Hillsville Police Department, Virginia State Police and the Carroll and Wythe sheriffs’ offices.

The suspect took the exit towards Roanoke and the pursuit continued to Exit 84 on I-81.

“Attempting to take the exit, [Alexander] drove the vehicle through the intersection and over an embankment, coming to rest after crossing the service road,” the report said.

Alexander was taken into custody and charged with being a fugitive from justice, felony failure to stop for blue lights and siren, having no driver’s license, attempted non-malicious injury to law enforcement and obstruction of justice; as well as several types of reckless driving — speeding over 80 mph, driving out of control or with bad brakes, driving to endanger life or limb and disregarding police command to stop (endangerment).

A female passenger, Bethany Elizabeth Herbert of Wellington, Ohio, was charged with obstructing a law enforcement officer.

Alexander and Herbert were transported to Wythe County Community Hospital to be checked out after the crash, then taken to the New River Valley Regional Jail.

Alexander is being held without bond; Herbert was held on a $2,500 secured bond.