A man locked himself in a van Thursday afternoon to avoid being arrested by the Southern Pines Police.

Authorities were investigating a suspicious van on Shaw Avenue inside the Brookside Park Apartment complex. Two individuals exited the vehicle on officer’s command, one armed with brass knuckles, but Rodolph Maurice Harris refused to cooperate and locked the doors.

Southern Pines Police Department said in a news release, the ‘police made entry into the van after a brief time and arrested Harris without incident.’

Harris, from Raeford, had in his possession a loaded 9mm semi-automatic pistol, marijuana, cocaine and digital scales.  The suspect ‘does have a prior felony conviction which, by law, prohibits him from possessing a firearm or ammunition,’ said the news release.

Harris was charged with possession of firearm by a convicted felon, felony possession of cocaine, possession with intent to sell/deliver marijuana, carrying a concealed firearm, possession of drug paraphernalia, resist/delay/obstruct an officer and violation of probation.

The news release did not state if the other two individuals were arrested.

“The professional actions of the responding officers in this incident resulted in the peaceful resolution for all concerned,” said Chief Bob Temme.  “Once again, officers from the Southern Pines Police Department have displayed an indisputable degree of bravery and professionalism, for which our entire community should be grateful.”

The Southern Pines Police Department will be working with Federal law enforcement partners, specifically the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, to conduct a history trace on the recovered firearm to determine if additional charges need to be filed against Harris in addition to pursuing federal prosecution.

The suspect was jailed under a $65,000 secured bond, has a Feb 18 court date, and is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

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