CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A Texas man arrested in connection to a series of car thefts and a high-speed chase in Charlotte had his bond increased to $800,000 and a judge threatened to hold him in contempt of court Friday.
Tyler Harding, 26, appeared in court Friday morning for charges related to the nearly two-hour-long chase.
Harding is accused of stealing four vehicles Wednesday while fleeing from police in a chase that caused two serious crashes.
On Friday, Judge Donald Cureton increased his bond from $115,000 to $800,000. Judge Cureton was already increasing Harding’s bond on Friday because the judge said Harding is a “danger to the community,” based on the allegations against him.
Queen City News’ Robin Kanady said Harding interrupted the judge, reportedly saying “F— this.” After continuous interruptions, the judge threatened to hold him in contempt of court.
The judge’s decision to increase Harding’s bond was based on his determination that Harding is a danger to the community, and not Harding’s courtroom outbursts.
Police said the incident started around 10 a.m. on July 6 when officers received a call about a breaking-and-entering at a local home. The caller told police that a Jeep was stolen during the burglary.
Officer located the Jeep at a McDonald’s drive-thru in the 400 block of South Tryon Street using a GPS device within the vehicle. They attempted to pull over the Jeep, but Harding drove away.
CMPD said they did not pursue the vehicle, but instead monitored the Jeep’s location and the suspect’s behavior using their CMPD helicopter.
Harding drove to Orchard Circle where police said he abandoned the Jeep and got into a stolen white pick-up truck. Harding’s sister, Christa Harding, also got into the truck, CMPD said.
Police said he drove the truck to South Carolina where he was seen driving erratically – sometimes even on the wrong side of the road and on sidewalks.
Lancaster County Sheriff’s deputies attempted to stop him but failed to pull him over.
Police said Harding drove back to Charlotte where the truck crashed into a parked car at a Walmart on South Tryon Street. Harding got out of the truck and stole an unoccupied gold Toyota Corolla in the parking lot that had been left running.
Christa Harding did not follow her brother and was arrested shortly after, authorities said.
Harding sped away and continued driving erratically until he crashed into a car on Johnston Road. The suspect was seen getting out of the wrecked car and trying to remove another driver from her vehicle, CMPD said.
When he was unsuccessful, he instead stole a black Infinity SUV.
“At that time officers were justified in pursing, based on CMPD policy due to the felony hit and run crash, the attempted carjacking, and the fact that it was unknown whether any passengers were inside the black Infinity,” Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said in a written statement, released on Thursday.
Harding eventually crashed the stolen SUV into another vehicle at the intersection of South and East Boulevards where he surrendered to police.
He was taken to the hospital with minor injuries and charged with four counts of vehicle theft, two counts of felony hit and run, possession of a stolen vehicle, felony flee to elude, and burglary. He was also issued numerous traffic citations.
Christa Harding was also charged with possession of a stolen vehicle.