Watch: Knife-wielding N.C. man steals tractor, leads police on pursuit
Video shows the driver plowing down stop signs and swerving into traffic with at least eight cruisers pursuing him
By Ashley Silver
WATAUGA COUNTY, N.C. — North Carolina police were catapulted into what seemed like a 1970s television show this week during a police pursuit.
The incident began when the Town of Boone Police Department received a call about a John Deere tractor "being driven erratically in a parking lot trying to hit pedestrians." Ronnie Hicks was later identified as the driver.
Video shows Hicks plowing down stop signs and swerving into traffic with at least eight cruisers pursuing him as he drove 20 mph during the hourslong cat and mouse game. In the video, viewers can also hear the Dukes of Hazzard theme song playing in the background as the incident unfolds.
As the pursuit went on, the man intentionally rammed a Boone Police vehicle and officers became worried about him reaching a nearby elementary school and more densely populated areas.
“Our officers were concerned for the welfare of our citizens as Hicks was intentionally driving the tractor toward oncoming traffic,” Department Chief Andy Le Beau said on Facebook.
While Hicks was driving in an isolated area, an officer was eventually able to shoot the tires of the tractor since spike strips laid out by officers had been ineffective. The man continued to drive without a front tire for a few more miles before turning onto private property, jumping out of the tractor and wielding a knife.
An officer used a TASER and the suspect was taken into custody without injury. No other injuries occurred throughout the incident.