In news from the state of North Carolina, which we might have to start referring to as “North North Florida,” a man on a John Deere tractor instigated a lengthy police chase that involved spike strips, the shooting of tires, and eventually a taser battle. We’re calling this incident “Hicks Gone Wild,” for an obvious reason: The guy on the tractor was named Ronnie Hicks. Oh, and this was a stolen tractor, just in case you had any doubt.
It sounds like ol’ Ronnie is no stranger to the local constabulary, based on the summary of the chase posted by the Boone police department, where this all went down. The Facebook post begins, “So, many of you have heard, or have seen the videos, that we got in a pursuit with a tractor. The stolen tractor was being operated by a person who we are very familiar with, Mr. Ronnie Hicks.” It’s left to the reader to imagine why they might be familiar with this fellow, but the following account might provide some insight.
According to the police, our GTA (Grand Theft Agriculture) adventure begins with the Deere pilot driving around town, swerving menacingly at pedestrians and crashing into stuff. In Boone, as in most towns, this will draw the attention of local law enforcement. Police chief Andy Le Beau maintains that Hicks “hit several vehicles, a dumpster, and a church,” adding that “We are still trying to sort it all out.” Indeed, as are we!
Thus ensued an OJ-style low-speed chase in which the police learned that John Deere tractors are surprisingly resilient, if not quick. As speeds approached 20 mph, the cops tried throwing spike strips in its path. The tractor and its irascible helmsman continued, undaunted. Next up: bullets. And shooting at the tires did work, such that one of the front ones eventually peeled straight off the rim. But those big wheels kept on turnin’, and in the process tearing up the dang-nabbed road.
But eventually, our ornery protagonist took a turn that led him to run out of road. At which point, he jumped off the tractor wielding a knife. You ever hear the expression, “Don’t bring a knife to a taser fight?” No? Well, we just made it up, based on what happened next. After which Mr. Hicks was taken into custody and charged with various things—whatever local statutes cover smashing into churches with stolen tractors and whatnot.
This was the second police chase in Boone this week. So far.