Sheriff's office searching for suspect



Clay County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the whereabouts of a Bryson City man accused of assault on a female, hit and run and trafficking in drugs, among other charges.

The suspect, Benjamin Dann Owens, 34, had been sighted by officers in Clay County over the weekend, but despite a two-hour foot chase into the woods, Owens has managed to elude arrest.

On Sunday, Owens had been reportedly seen on Downings Creek Road around 6 p.m. and was believed to be in the area of Tusquittee Road, according to Sheriff Bobby Deese.

He was last seen wearing black pants and a black shirt with white lettering on the front.

Owens has several warrants pending. In Swain County he is charged with assault on a female, hit and run and assault with a deadly weapon.

In addition to allegedly striking a woman ‘s face, Owens is accused of fleeing the scene after hitting her car with his vehicle.

The assault with a deadly weapon charge stems from allegations that Owens struck the victim’s vehicle by “swerving and impacting” the SUV she was driving.

Charges are also pending in Clay County. These include trafficking in methamphetamine, possession of a firearm by a felon and trafficking in opium/heroin for alleging possessing 28 grams of an opiate.

Owens also has a probation-related charge pending in Towns County, Deese said.

Anyone who sees Owens is ask to call 911 as deputies continue to actively search for him.

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