According to the Town of Boone Police Department, the suspect in the tractor theft was identified as Ronnie Hicks. He has been charged with two felonies — fleeing to elude arrest and assault with a deadly weapon on a government official — as well as a couple of misdemeanors, including driving while impaired and reckless driving.
After receiving a call about a tractor being driven erratically in one of the town’s parking lots, trying to hit pedestrians, colliding with a vehicle off of a road, and driving down the wrong lane of traffic, law enforcement officers deployed.
@mr.dangerousone #thcwildness #wtfyougoing? #hahaha ♬ original sound – Juice
Officers reported that the driver of the tractor never broke 20 mph during the chase, but was followed in somewhat-hot pursuit by the North Carolina State Highway Department, Watauga County Sheriff’s Department, and the Boone Police Department.
According to a report from Chief Andy Le Beau, during the chase Hicks intentionally rammed a Boone Police vehicle, after stop sticks were ineffective on the tractor. Le Beau also reported that once the tractor entered an isolated area, one of the officers shot the tires of the tractor.
The tractor thief apparently made it a few miles without a front tire before he stopped the tractor and jumped out wielding a knife. The Boone Police Department’s Facebook page states that one of their officers used a taser to subdue the driver, who was then taken into custody.
Thankfully, nobody was injured during the incident. The Boone Police Department has stated they will be releasing a report with further details in the days to come.