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A Salisbury man was charged Friday after he crashed his car into a well pump, took police on a short foot chase and wound up in the back of a mini van.

Nathan Charles Latta, 24, of the 200 block of Henderlite Street, is charged with operating a vehicle on the highway without a registration, hit and run property damage, reckless driving and no vehicle insurance, all misdemeanors.

Deputies with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office responded to the home of Martha Shuping, who reported someone drove through her well house Friday, causing considerable damage. A red vehicle crashed through the well house and came close to crashing near her Salisbury home.

The suspect, later identified as Latta, took off, leaving the car behind.

A deputy passed a vehicle heading in the opposite direction near Cauble Road without a tag. The officer turned to follow the car and temporarily lost contact with it. The officer retraced his steps and came upon the car in Shuping’s yard and the driver gone. Shuping called emergency responders, thinking the driver was injured. There was damage to both sides of the vehicle, the windshield and front bumper, a department report said. The car was still running and the driver and passengers’ side airbags were deployed.

Officials sent a K-9 to search the area and an officer recognized the car as belonging to Latta. The police dog tracked a scent to Rowan Memorial Park cemetery. When officers arrived, they found Latta in the back of a mini van.

The driver, an older woman, told them Latta asked her for a ride. The driver wasn’t aware of the accident and subsequent search. The damage to Shuping’s well house was estimated at $4,000.

Latta was released after posting a $500 secured bond.

Latta is currently on probation for a February 2012 conviction of drug possession in Iredell County. He has been convicted of burning personal property, common law robbery, possession of stolen goods, assault and battery, and larceny.

Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253. Twitter: www.twitter.com/salpostpotts Facebook: www.facebook.com/Shavonne.SalisburyPost.

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