Man arrested after pursuit through Charleston in stolen vehicle

Local News

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – A Charleston man was arrested this morning following a pursuit in a stolen vehicle.

Derek Scott Rankin, 32, of Charleston, was arrested for fleeing with reckless indifference and possessing a stolen vehicle.

According to a press release from the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department, Deputy Miller spotted a black Honda Civic with a stolen license plate heading north on Sissonville Drive. The vehicle was fleeing from a Charleston police officer shortly before the deputy saw it.

The vehicle then fled from the deputy on Edens Fork Road. The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office says it crossed the center lane lines during the pursuit, causing other vehicles to swerve out of the way. The Honda Civic then went on to I-77 south toward Charleston, reaching speeds of 110 mph.  The Civic exited at Leon Sullivan Way, wound through the furniture district, onto Piedmont Road, then Farnsworth Drive to Renaissance Circle, before stopping behind a building at the Renaissance Apartments complex. During the pursuit the vehicle ran numerous stop signs.

The driver fled on foot to the back door of the building. According to the sheriff’s department, Deputy Miller released his K9 partner, Max, who followed the suspect into the building. Rankin was wearing a bandana over his face and trying to enter an apartment, police said. He laid on the floor and was then handcuffed and arrested.

The Honda Civic was reported stolen to Charleston PD on February 27, 2020, and the license plate was reported stolen to the WV State Police the same day. 

Rankin also had an active capias warrant from Kanawha County Circuit Court related to previous charges of possession of a stolen vehicle and fraudulent use of a credit card. Rankin’s driver’s license was already revoked for DUI, according to police. 

Police say a sample of Rankin’s blood is being evaluated due to suspicion he was under the influence while driving the vehicle. If warranted, charges will be decided after the samples are evaluated. Rankin was taken to South Central Regional Jail to await arraignment. 

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