ASHEBORO, N.C. -- A stolen work truck was returned to its rightful owner Wednesday after Randolph County deputies say the driver rammed patrol vehicles during a 20-mile pursuit.
Michael St. John said his truck was stolen from Steel Supply and Erection Co., Inc. in Asheboro Tuesday afternoon.
The truck was returned on the back of a wrecker Wednesday morning with thousands of dollars worth of equipment and tools still missing.
"I never intended the truck to be used as a battering ram, but there you go,” he said.
The truck wouldn't start and was badly damaged. A rim of the vehicle was bent after deputies say they had to deploy stop sticks to stop the driver.
Deputies say the driver drove through yards and fences on Hoover Hill Road. The chase eventually came to an end on Old Lexington Road.
“It’s obviously sickening. It was in pristine condition and now I’m not sure if it’s salvageable, we’ll try but I’m not sure,” St. John said.
Johnathon Michael Maness, 28, was charged with felony destruction of evidence, felony larceny of a motor vehicle, felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle, four counts of felony assault on a law enforcement officer with a deadly weapon and other charges.
According to a news release, Maness told deputies he had swallowed methamphetamine.
“Its sad, what's sad is other people lost in this too. A motorcyclist run off the road, law enforcement vehicles were hit,” St. John said.
Maness was taken to the Randolph County Detention Center and given a $152,000 secured bond.
St. John said he's just grateful no one was seriously hurt.
“Thank goodness there were no school buses involved, or children," he said. “It's a relief he’s caught, so maybe he can get some help.”