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Avery County Law Enforcement Authorities Apprehend Man and Seized Vehicle After Chase Involving City of Morganton Police

Wyatt Lane Clark. Photo courtesy of City of Morganton Department of Public Safety-Police Department

By Tim Gardner

Wyatt Lane Clark, age 25, of Newland, was apprehended by Avery County law enforcement officers on Friday, March 24, after he was involved in a vehicle chase in Morganton, NC the previous day. The vehicle he was driving during the chase was also seized by Avery officers.

On March 23, 2023, officers with the Morganton, NC Department of Public Safety (Police Department) were conducting a motor vehicle checking station on North Green Street when Clark came through traffic there in a yellow, 2013 Ford Focus car and was stopped. Clark did not have an active driver’s license. However, he did provide an old identification (ID) to officers on the scene. Clark was then instructed to pull the vehicle that had a North Carolina tag number of HDE-3199 to the side of the road by those officers. But instead, he proceeded to flee from the officers up North Carolina Highway 181 toward Avery County at excessive speeds. 

Morganton officers alerted Avery County law enforcement authorities that Clark was headed toward Avery County.  Morganton Officers discontinued their attempts to pursue Clark due to his reckless driving and after having confirmed his identity through a records search. Felony arrest warrants were issued for Clark as well as a seizure affidavit for the vehicle he was driving once it was located by law enforcement authorities.

The 2013 yellow Ford Focus car was driven by Wyatt Clark. Photo courtesy of City of Morganton Department of Public Safety-Police Department.

Via the Morganton Department of Public Safety’s social media online site Facebook, the public was encouraged to report any sightings of Clark or his vehicle, or where he and/or the vehicle’s whereabouts may be to the Department of Public Safety.

However, Morganton law enforcement authorities advised anyone in the general public who may see Clark to not approach him. 

Avery County Sheriff Mike Henley told the High Country Press that Clark was apprehended “without incident” and was held in the Avery County Jail, until he and the vehicle “were turned over to Morganton Department of Public Safety officials.”

Henley added that Clark will appear in court in Burke County, where the City of Morganton is located.