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Burglary leads to six-hour chase; arrests

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Madison County Sheriff Ben Stewart reports that on the morning of Thursday, Sept. 1, Deputy Marcus Holbrook and Staff Sergeant Jason Whitfield were dispatched to Clover Farms Grocery Store, which is located at 1010 East U.S. Highway 90, in Madison, in reference to a break-in and burglary of the store.

Upon arrival, Deputy Holbrook found the front glass door had been busted out and numerous packs of cigars and cigarettes were scattered on the floor.

Holbrook and Whitfield searched the inside of the store to insure that the perpetrator was not hiding inside and once the interior of the store was cleared, the deputies began to process the crime scene. Deputy Holbrook located several more unopened packs of cigars and cigarettes lying in the street, indicating that the perpetrator had fled south on Osgood St.

Staff Sergeant Whitfield requested K9 assistance from Madison Correctional Institution (MCI) in tracking the suspect.

Once MCI canine teams arrived, they were deployed and began tracking in a southerly direction toward the intersection of Osgood St. and Colman Ave., where another unopened pack of cigarettes was discovered; however, the track stopped there, indicating that the perpetrator had possibly left the area in a vehicle. Deputies continued to process the crime scene collecting and processing evidence. Video surveillance was reviewed and with the help of store staff, deputies were able to identify the perpetrator to be Nathaniel A. Ghent, Jr., 35, of Madison.

As Deputy Holbrook was personally familiar with Ghent, and had knowledge that Ghent owned a red four-door Ford sedan, Holbrook departed the crime scene and was on his way to Ghent's residence to attempt to locate him for an interview.

While Deputy Holbrook was traveling north on Country Kitchen Rd., a red Ford Crown Victoria approached traveling south and passed Deputy Holbrook, who positively identified Ghent as the driver.

Ghent was not wearing his seatbelt, giving Deputy Holbrook legal justification to conduct a traffic stop.

Deputy Holbrook turned around, and activated his blue lights and siren as he attempted to catch up to Ghent, only to have Ghent accelerate and refuse to stop before turning his vehicle west onto Woodview Ln., and continued to travel to the last residence where he finally stopped. Once there, Ghent quickly exited his vehicle.

Deputy Holbrook was unable to see Nathaniel’s hands, and began to give him commands with his duty weapon drawn.

At that same moment, another vehicle pulled in behind Deputy Holbrook and a black male (later identified as Ghent's brother, Antonio Rashad Ghent, 30, also of Madison) began to interfere with Deputy Holbrook’s attempts to detain Ghent.

Deputy Holbrook began to give verbal commands to both Nathaniel and Antonio Ghent.

Nathaniel was in front of Deputy Holbrook while Antonio was directly behind Deputy Holbrook. Antonio stated several times that he was an officer of the law and knew his brother’s rights. While Deputy Holbrook attempted to deal with both subjects, Nathaniel took the opportunity to flee on foot into the woods.

Deputy Holbrook was unable to pursue Nathaniel because of Antonio’s interference with the traffic stop and burglary investigation.

Deputy Holbrook called for backup officers and K9 assistance.

Staff Sergeant Jason Whitfield quickly arrived on scene and assisted Deputy Holbrook in placing Antonio Ghent under arrest without further incident.

While waiting on the MCSO canine to arrive on scene, Deputy Holbrook began to process the car that Ghent had been driving and located a small amount of marijuana in the floorboard, along with other evidence that linked Ghent to the Clover Farm burglary, including a pair of pants that matched the clothes seen on the surveillance video.

Sergeant Jarrod Lauth and K9 Miso began to track Ghent from the point where he entered the woods. K9 Miso led Sgt. Lauth and the tracking team out to Country Kitchen Rd., where the trail stopped.

A short time later MCSO received information that Ghent had been picked up in a vehicle and driven to SR 6, where he was now walking east.

Deputies responded to the area, and observed Ghent walking in the ditch. As soon as Ghent saw the deputies approaching, he fled south into the woods.

A tighter perimeter was established with the assistance of MCI K9 teams, Hamilton Correctional Institution (HCI) K9 teams, and the Madison Police Department (MPD).

Due to the heat and terrain, multiple K9 teams from the MCSO, MCI and HCI were utilized to keep the canines fresh.

As various teams continued to search the area, Ghent was spotted walking across the backyard of a residence on the south side of SR 6. Sergeant Jarrod Lauth, Corporal Chris O’Brian, and K9 Onyx were deployed to the area and immediately picked up the track. Only a short while later, K9 Onyx apprehended Ghent, who was then placed in wrist restraints and escorted out of the woods before being transported to the Madison County Memorial Hospital (MCMH) to be treated for a dog bite he obtained during his apprehension. Once he was released from the MCMH emergency room, Ghent was transported to the Madison County Jail and booked without further incident.

Ghent was charged with burglary, criminal mischief, theft, fleeing/attempting to elude, possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana, and resisting arrest.  Antonio Ghent is facing charges of impersonating a law enforcement officer and resisting an officer without violence.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Office extends its appreciation to the Madison Correctional Institution K9 teams, the Hamilton County Correctional Institution K9 teams and the Madison Police Department for their assistance in apprehending Nathaniel Ghent, Jr.

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Greene Publishing, Inc. Photo By Brooke Kinsley, September 1, 2016

An investigation led by Deputy Marcus Holbrook discovered Nathaniel Ghent as the person of interest regarding the burglary of the Clover Farm Grocery Store. After being confronted by Holbrook, Ghent proceeded to flee into the woods and led law enforcement and K9 teams on an all-morning chase before Ghent was apprehended by the MCSO. Pictured, from left to right, are: Major David Harper, MCSO; Nathaniel Ghent; Tyler Allen, EMS; and Joey Knight, MCSO.

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Greene Publishing, Inc. Photo By Brooke Kinsley, September 1, 2016

The pursuit of Nathaniel Ghent resulted in various law enforcement agencies from Hamilton and Madison County, including the Madison County Sheriff's Office, Madison Police Department, Madison Correctional Institution and the Hamilton County Correctional Institution K9 unit.

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Greene Publishing, Inc. Photo By Brooke Kinsley, September 1, 2016

After breaking into and burglarizing a local grocery store, Nathaniel Ghent, Jr., of Madison, was arrested on Thursday, Sept. 1 after leading various teams of law enforcement and K9 officers in a six hour chase throughout the Country Kitchen and SR 6 area. Also arrested was Ghent's brother, Antonio Ghent, after he attempted to resist officers and impersonate a law enforcement officer.

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