Man charged after chase, crash

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 3, 2007

FRANKLIN—A city man was arrested Monday at Southampton Memorial Hospital on charges of illegally possessing a firearm and eluding police, a day after he allegedly lead police on a brief high-speed chase.

Herbert Bernard Macklin, 49, of Woodland Drive, Franklin, was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon and felonious eluding of police in connection with Sunday’s incident.

Police had been called to the Wal-Mart shopping center to investigate a subject brandishing a firearm in the parking lot. Dispatchers broadcast a description of the suspect and his 2005 Audi coupe while police were headed to the scene, and an officer spotted the vehicle eastbound on Armory drive.

When police initiated a traffic stop, the vehicle pulled into another shopping center, where it appeared it was going to stop, but as the officer pulled behind the vehicle, it sped off, according to Lt. T.W. Whitt of the Franklin Police Department.

The officer pursued briefly, but cut the pursuit short for public safety reasons, Whitt said.

A short time later, the vehicle was found — totaled — at the intersection of Hunterdale Roads and North Drive, where it had failed to make a turn and crashed into a tree in the front yard of a residence.

Officers who responded to the crash found the suspect had fled the scene, but determined that Macklin had driven the car, Whitt said.

While processing the crash scene, police found in the car a Taurus .357 Magnum revolver and a Beretta 9mm semi-automatic pistol, as well as ammunition for both weapons, an open container of alcohol and the suspect’s identification, police said.

Warrants were obtained for Macklin, who remained on the run until Monday, when police were alerted that he was at Southampton Memorial Hospital, receiving treatment for injuries sustained in the crash.

Macklin was arrested without incident and — after treatment — was formally charged and remanded to Western Tidewater Regional Jail without bond.