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Police twice chase a man from former senator’s home, two officers injured

Two police officers were injured during chases this weekend at the home of a former Brunswick County, N.C., senator, according to a Tabor City police report.

Officers were called at 8 p.m. Saturday to the home of R.C. Soles Jr., in Tabor City, N.C., after someone was at the house, police said.

Soles, whose 42 years in the General Assembly made him North Carolina's longest continuously serving lawmaker, retired last year.

When officers arrived Soles told them he pulled into his garage and he heard someone hitting the door between his garage and house so he called police. Officers found a man in the area and chased after him, but the man fled into a wooded area, according to the report. An officer chasing the man fell and injured his shoulder.

Officers were searching the area when Soles fired a shotgun from his home after someone returned to the home and hit the door again, according to the report. Officers chased a man into water near the house and during that chase an officer hurt his knee when he fell.

The person fled the area, but officers were called to a nearby home for a report of prowler, according to the report. Officers, who saw the man, identified him, and are searching for him.

The officers, who were hurt, were treated at Loris Community Hospital.

Soles pleaded guilty last year to a misdemeanor in a shooting at his home Aug. 23, 2009. He was indicted by a Columbus County, N.C., grand jury in January 2010 for assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of assault with a deadly weapon and was fined $1,000.

The plea bargain allows him to avoid a prison term and the loss of his license to practice law.The shooting occurred at Soles’ home after two men had kicked in a door. Soles shot Kyle Blackburn one of the intruders, in the leg. Blackburn, 22, was treated and released at Loris Community Hospital.

Soles maintained his innocence and said he was afraid when Blackburn and B.J. Wright, both former clients of his, kicked in the door. The incident was the last in a series of incursions in and around Soles’ home for two years that prompted numerous calls to the Columbus County 911 center.