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Man accused of child sex crime racks up more charges with high speed chase

Jeff Bobo • May 3, 2018 at 8:30 PM

ROGERSVILLE — A Hawkins County man already accused of sexual exploitation of a minor racked up more felony charges Wednesday evening after leading police on a high speed chase through Rogersville’s residential back streets.

Shortly before 5:30 p.m., Rogersville Police Department Officer Josh Byrd reportedly observed a gold 1998 Camaro with faulty brake lights traveling west on Highway 11-W.

As Byrd prepared to stop the vehicle, he observed the driver to be Heath Dudley Drinnon, 42, 9271 Highway 11-W, Mooresburg, whom he knew to be wanted on sealed Hawkins County grand jury indictments for sexual exploitation of a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Details regarding those charges weren’t available Thursday.

Drinnon reportedly turned onto Hasson Street with Byrd behind him, and when Byrd activated his lights to conduct the stop, Drinnon allegedly accelerated onto Watterson Street.

From that point on, Drinnon allegedly traveled up to 60 mph in 20 or 30 mph zones and sped through stop signs at Clay, Reno and Hawkins streets.

Drinnon turned on Hawkins Street headed toward Main Street. At that point RPD Officer Andy Banks pulled ahead of the Camaro in an attempt to box it in, at which time Drinnon allegedly rammed Banks’ patrol car twice.

Fearing that the pursuit would carry on to the high traffic and pedestrian area of East Main Street, Banks placed his patrol car in a position to force the Camaro off the road.

“Officer Banks made contact with the vehicle, and caused the vehicle to spin out of control onto a grassy area belonging to East Court Apartments,” Byrd stated in his report.

Drinnon then fled on foot, crossing Main Street, where Byrd reportedly took him to the ground. Drinnon allegedly refused to place his hands behind his back, and received a five second stun from a Taser before he was subdued.

In addition to his grand jury indictment charges, Drinnon is now charged with aggravated assault on an officer, felony evading arrest, resisting arrest, evading arrest by foot, three stop sign violations, driving on a suspended license and violation of the light law.

On Feb. 1, Drinnon was indicted on multiple charges stemming from a high speed chase that occurred on Nov. 18, 2017, including felony evading arrest, reckless driving, reckless endangerment, speeding and violation of the Habitual Motor Offender Act. Those charges are now pending in Criminal Court as well.

As of Thursday, Drinnon was being held in the Hawkins County Jail with no bond pending arraignment Monday in Sessions Court on his new charges.

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