A man who allegedly stabbed a grocery store security guard trying to stop a theft last month in Southeast Washington was arrested Tuesday in North Carolina after leading officers on a high-speed chase, according to authorities.
Klein Andrew Lawrence, 32, of Hyattsville, Md., faces several traffic charges, including speeding, eluding police and hit and run, driving without a license and possession of cocaine, police said. Lawrence was being held in North Carolina on Wednesday, where he could make his first court appearance.
D.C. police confirmed that Lawrence also has been charged with assault on a police officer stemming from the grocery store incident.
Media in North Carolina reported the chase reached speeds of 110 mph through rush hour traffic in the congested area around Raleigh, but a spokesman for the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Lt. Jeff Gordon, could not confirm the top speed.
Gordon said a clerk at a BP Gas station on U.S. 70 near the town of Pine Level called police Tuesday morning to report Lawrence after noticing him sitting for a long time in a 2003 Mercedes.
A Pine Level officer questioned Lawrence and believed he was impaired, a statement from the state patrol said. The officer also reported seeing several knives in the vehicle. When the officer asked the man his name, police said he jumped into the Mercedes and sped off, prompting a pursuit through the North Carolina counties of Johnston and Wake.
Several police agencies were involved, including the state patrol, which took over the pursuit and boxed in the car near an exit off Interstate 40 just south of downtown Raleigh. Gordon said the officers used what is called a “PIT” maneuver — Precision Immobilization Technique — in which one cruiser strikes the fleeing vehicle in the side near the front so that it spins out and stops.
Police said Lawrence was arrested after a struggle and was taken to a hospital for treatment before going to the Wake County Detention Center.
Police said Lawrence was wanted by D.C. police in connection with the June 25 stabbing of a special police officer — a security guard with limited arrest powers — at a Giant Food store in the 1500 block of Alabama Avenue SE.
Police said the guard approached the suspected shoplifter, he became upset an started to run. The guard chased the man, caught him and they struggled. The suspect allegedly took out a knife and stabbed the guard in the neck, upper body and back.
The guard was treated for injuries at George Washington University Hospital. It was not immediately clear when Lawrence would be returned to the District to face charges.
Lawrence has a lengthy arrest record in the District and Maryland, court records show, with several convictions related to robbery and theft. Police in North Carolina said at the time of his arrest he was also wanted in Prince George’s County in a warrant charging him with strong armed robbery.
Court records from D.C. Superior Court show that Lawrence was arrested in the District on May 17 and charged with receiving stolen property. He was released pending trial on May 18 and placed under what is called the high intensity supervision program, the strictest form or pre-trial release.
Lawrence failed to show up for a court hearing on June 13, records show. At the time of the incident at the Giant Grocery, authorities said an arrest warrant had been issued charging him with failing to appear.