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Troopers: SUV was stolen in high-speed chase

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Four people were taken into custody after a high-speed chase through Johnston County

Four people were taken into custody after a high-speed chase through Johnston County late Friday night.

Our crew on the scene said a State Highway Patrol trooper attempted to stop an SUV in Sampson County for going 90 mph in a 70 mph zone just before midnight. The vehicle reportedly pulled over and then fled.

Troopers said the SUV was stolen out of Wrightsville Beach but authorities did not know that it was stolen at the time of the arrests.

Troopers told our crew the trooper chased the vehicle into Johnston County on I-40 at speeds exceeding 100 mph.

After the trooper performed a pit maneuver, the SUV spun into the median into the guardrail shortly after midnight.

All four of the SUV's occupants were taken into custody after they were checked out at Betsy Johnson Hospital in Dunn. No serious injuries were reported.

Kevin Jose Mendez, 22, of Winston-Salem, was the driver, troopers said. He faces numerous charges including with felony speeding to elude, driving while intoxicated, driving without an operators license, careless and reckless driving, speeding, having an open container, and 2 counts of child endangerment.

Troopers say there were 2 juveniles, ages 14 and 15, in the backseat. Eric Michael Jones, 19, of Clemmons was in the passenger seat.

So far Mendez is the only one facing charges. Troopers said the Wrightsville Beach Police Department plans to take out warrants for the stolen vehicle.

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