FLETCHER, NORTH CAROLINA — A Black Mountain police officer charged with leading Fletcher police on a chase is no longer employed with the department.
Joshua King, 35, of Fletcher, who worked for the department for nearly 14 years, was placed on administrative leave following his arrest Saturday night, Chief Kevin Pressley said.
Following an internal investigation, “He is no longer employed with our agency,” Pressley said. The chief would not say whether King was fired or resigned.
Fletcher police say King led them on a chase for several miles down U.S. 25 following a hit and run in a parking lot. King was off duty at the time of the incident.
King is charged with fleeing to elude arrest; hit and run; failure to heed blue light or siren; speeding; having no insurance; revoked registration plate; and careless and reckless driving, said Fletcher Police Chief Erik Summey.
The incident began shortly after 8 p.m. in the parking lot of a Bojangles’ restaurant. Three Fletcher officers were responding to an unrelated call when they heard a crash.
“While they were there, they heard a crash. It sounded like some kind of accident,” Summey said.
A vehicle had hit a parked car and was leaving the area.
The SUV went over a curb, through a grassy area and out onto U.S. 25 via the parking lot of the neighboring gas station.
One person sitting inside the parked car was not hurt, Summey said.
Two of the officers followed the SUV down U.S. 25 toward Hendersonville. Speeds during the chase reached more than 90 mph, Summey said.
The vehicle made a right turn onto Baystone Drive, a curvy road that turns to gravel and eventually reaches a dead end.
Summey said King stopped the car and was arrested. Following the stop, King recognized one of the Fletcher officers.
“One of our officers that was involved in the initial chase and detention knew him,” Summey said.
Summey said a child was in the vehicle with King.
“It was fortunate that no one was hurt,” he said.
King started at the Black Mountain Police Department as a patrol officer in September 1997. King’s most recent salary at the department was $38,200 per year.
Ruth Brandon, a member of the Black Mountain Board of Aldermen, described King as a “fine officer.”
“He did a super job. He was always very courteous, very professional; always looking out for the people of the community,” she said.
King could not be reached Wednesday.