Town Employee, Friend Charged With Attempting To Outrun Cops On Four Wheelers

Two Smithfield men are facing charges after they allegedly tried to outrun a Johnston County deputy on their all terrain vehicles.

Around midnight Friday, a Johnston County deputy was on Durwood Stephenson Highway at Wilson’s Mills Road when he reportedly saw two ATV’s traveling down Wilson’s Mills Road.  The officer got behind the ATV’s and activated his blue light and siren but the operators allegedly failed to stop.

Following a brief chase one of the ATV’s was stopped. The operator, identified as 27 year-old William Edward Stephenson II, of the 2400 block of Buffalo Road, was arrested and charged with felony fleeing to elude arrest, reckless driving, driving while impaired and operating a vehicle with no insurance.

Stephenson registered 0.18 on the Breathalyzer, more than double the legal limit of 0.08 in NC, according to officers reports.  His Yamaha four wheeler valued at $5,000 was also seized.

The second ATV operator managed to elude apprehension Friday night but was arrested Saturday night. Ethan Daniel Bryant, 26, of the 1900 block of Wilson’s Mills Road was charged with misdemeanor fleeing to elude arrest, reckless driving, driving a vehicle without registration and operating a vehicle without insurance.

Bryant is an employee with the Public Works Department for the Town of Smithfield.  Town of Smithfield Human Resources Director Tim Kerigan said Bryant works as a Sanitation Equipment Operator.