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Suspect in custody after chase in Jackson County causes school lockdowns

Colby Derrick Bean
Colby Derrick Bean(Jackson County Detention Center)
Published: Jun. 7, 2022 at 11:20 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 7, 2022 at 4:27 PM EDT
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SYLVA, N.C. (FOX Carolina) - The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said a suspect is in custody after a chase that prompted multiple schools to go on lockdown Tuesday morning.

At around 5:15 p.m. on Tuesday, employees from the Lowe’s Home Improvement store in Sylva reported that they saw a person matching the description of the suspect pushing a bicycle through the parking lot.

Nearby deputies responded to the scene and took the suspect into custody in the parking lot of a United Community Bank. The suspect, 29-year-old Colby Derrick Bean from Asheville, NC, was charged with the following

  • Possession of Stolen Motor Vehicle
  • Felony Speed to Elude Arrest; Resist
  • Obstruct, and Delay a Law Enforcement Officer
  • Larceny of a Financial (Bank) Card
  • Possession of Stolen Goods
  • Larceny from Outside of a Residence

He is currently at the Jackson County Detention Center under a $30,000 secured bond.

On Tuesday morning, Southwestern Community College initially said the Jackson campus is on immediate lockdown due to a felon wearing body armor on the loose in the vicinity of the campus. However, investigators said reports of the suspect being armed and wearing a tactical vest were unfounded.

Deputies were tracking a stolen vehicle on Highway 116 and the driver fled when they tried to stop him. The stolen car’s satellite tracking service remotely disabled the engine at the request of the sheriff’s office.

When the vehicle lost power, the suspect drove the car into the parking lot of State Employee’s Credit Union, got out and ran away on foot.

At noon, the lockdown was lifted at Southwestern Community College. The college campus resumed normal operations. Some Jackson County public schools were also placed on lockdown due to the incident, including Smoky Mountain High School, Fairview School and Jackson County Early College.

Some Jackson County public schools were also placed on lockdown due to the incident, including Smoky Mountain High School, Fairview School and Jackson County Early College.

Smoky Mountain High School was used as a staging area for law enforcement.