W-S hostage taker chased into Surry County Sunday

By Keith Strange and Nick Elmes

February 4, 2014

A suspect surrendered around 3:30 p.m., yesterday afternoon in a hostage situation at a Travelers Inn located at 5906 University Parkway in Winston-Salem that began as a high speed chase in King late Sunday evening, and Surry County officials have confirmed that the county was involved for a portion of the chase on Monday.

“The man (driving a vehicle being chased) called 911 very shortly after crossing into Surry County,” confirmed county Emergency Communications Director Jonathan Bledsoe. “He said he had a gun and a hostage and would shoot if the pursuit was not discontinued. We broadcast what he said and the pursuit was discontinued.”

King Police Chief Paula May said King officers first encountered the suspect, who she identified Tuesday morning as Christopher Shane Jenkins, shortly before midnight Sunday when they were dispatched to a suspicious vehicle call at the King Waffle House.

“When they arrived they saw the suspect vehicle there and it was occupied by two males,” said May. “They also observed what they believed to be drugs in the car.”

May said the suspects did not respond to requests from the officers, who notified Surry County emergency officials of the chase about five minutes before midnight.

“The guy would not stop his vehicle and was continuing to move his vehicle,” she said. “He eventually took off and a chase ensued up U.S. 52 north.”

Police pursued the silver Nissan Altima until it exited the highway at Cook School Road in Surry County.

“He had called 911,” said May. “That call came into Surry County communications. He informed them he had a hostage and he would shoot the hostage if the officers did not back off. The communications agency relayed that information to the Stokes County communication agency who advised the officers that they were to terminate the chase.”

County officials say they received the call from the suspect at 11:59 p.m. Sunday night.

“At the time the pursuit was discontinued Surry County Officers had not reached the last known location of the pursuit,” Bledsoe said. “Surry County sheriff’s deputies continued to the area of the pursuit to search for the suspect vehicle. They were unable to locate the vehicle or the suspect in Surry County.”

May said there was no more contact with the suspect except by phone.

“The suspect continued to make phone calls,” May said Monday evening. “The communication department received word this morning that he was at this hotel.”

May said both Jenkins and the hostage have outstanding felony warrants in other jurisdictions. She said Jenkins had three aggravated assault charges outstanding in Virginia, but could not provide information on the outstanding charges against the hostage.

She said Jenkins, as a result of the incident Sunday evening, is now also facing charges of felony speeding to elude, felony speeding more than 80 m.p.h. in a work zone, resisting a public officer, assault on a government officer with a deadly weapon, reckless driving, not having a valid operators license, expired registration, seat belt violation, improper passing, passing without having a safe distance, following too closely, driving on a sidewalk, failure to stop for red light, and making an improper right turn.

In a written statement issued at around 5 p.m., Monday, the Winston-Salem Police Department said the suspect had told them he was armed and had a hostage.

“This subject refused to surrender to the officers,” read the release. “A perimeter was established and members of the Winston-Salem Police Department SWAT team responded to this location. Several persons were evacuated from the hotel as well as surrounding businesses. It is believed the reported hostage is a relative of the subject.”

The hostage, identified as a 16-year-old male, left the room with his arms in the air around 1:40 p.m., and was immediately handcuffed and taken away in a patrol car, according to media reports.

Reach Keith Strange at 336-719-1929 or via Twitter at @strangereporter.