William Joseph Conner


By Beth Lawrence


One person is in jail following a foot chase Thursday evening that left a Sylva police officer injured.

William Joseph Conner, 29, of Cullowhee was arrested for two counts of resisting a public officer, injury to personal property, felony warrants for failure to appear and two felony probation violations.

Officers recognized Conner while responding to another call and attempted to stop and detain him.

“We had gotten a call of a possible breaking and entering at an apartment on Citrus Drive,” said Lt. Detective Aimee Watson. “Detective (Daniel) Reid, myself and Assistant Chief (Rick) Bryson had responded to the area to try to locate a subject.”

As the detectives left the scene, they spotted Conner walking down Citrus Drive. He was stopped at the entrance to Stormy Cove near Auto Zone.

The officers thought they recognized the man, but he allegedly gave them a false name.

“We believed he was William Joseph Conner; we weren’t positive at the time,” Watson said.

They were attempting to confirm that he had outstanding warrants when he allegedly fled on foot, running into traffic.

Bryson, Officer Maleah Mathis and Sgt. Zack Stiles took up the chase on foot while others pursued in patrol cars.

“He ran towards Enmarket and up on top of the mountain behind Enmarket gas station where he was eventually apprehended,” Watson said.

Stiles injured his ankle during the run up the hill. He was taken to Harris Regional Hospital where he was treated and released.

Following the chase, Conner‘s identity was confirmed, and he was arrested.

A police radio was broken during the chase.

Police are working to determine whether Conner was the suspect in the attempted break-in.

Conner is in the Jackson County Detention Center in lieu of a $52,000 bond.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the chase.