Audio of police call released from chase
By Shelley Smith
CHINA GROVE — The SBI is investigating after a Landis Police officer shot a man accused of trying to run him over with a Jeep Cherokee.
Clarence Eugene Rhyne was shot Thursday morning by Landis Police Officer Brandon Linn in the front yard of 703 Harry St., where Rhyne crashed his red Jeep Cherokee after a chase.
Rhyne, 45, of 103 Clancy Drive, Apt. B, was shot in the left arm and treated at Rowan Regional Medical Center. He was released and charged with assault with a deadly weapon on a government official, resisting a public officer and felony fleeing to elude arrest. He was held on $25,000 bond.
Officer Linn has been placed on administrative duty until the departmental investigation is complete, Landis Police Chief Brian C. McCoy said.
Authorities reported the chase began around 12:18 a.m. Thursday after Rhyne turned around from a license check at the intersection of South Main Street and Owens Road in China Grove. At least one deputy with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office chased Rhyne, and Officer Linn joined the chase soon after.
The chase lasted nearly six minutes as the Jeep zig-zagged through downtown China Grove. At some points, the Jeep exceeded speeds of 90 mph.
Rhyne, who was carrying two unknown passengers, eventually turned onto Harry Street and then down a dirt driveway beside 703 Harry St.
A press release from McCoy reported Rhyne attempted to strike Linn with the Jeep, and Linn fired his gun, striking Rhyne in the left arm.
The SBI hasn’t determined how many shots were fired at Rhyne. The crash report is being handled by the China Grove Police Department, including details of where Rhyne and Linn were positioned when Rhyne attempted to run Linn over.
One of Rhyne’s best friends, Melvin Sherill, said that before the Jeep became stuck in a ditch in the front yard of 703 Harry St., Rhyne ran over a bush and knocked down two mailboxes.
He said the tire tracks in the front yard don’t go along with the story authorities are reporting, and he said there were bullet holes in the windshield, hood of the Jeep, back windshield and through a side window.
According to the N.C. Department of Corrections, the majority of Rhyne’s convictions are for driving while license revoked. They also include multiple possessions of schedule II controlled substances, carrying a concealed weapon, misdemeanor larceny and driving while impaired.