Shortly after 10 a.m. Wednesday, Church Hill Police Department Detective Ethan Mays was at the intersection of Highway 11-W and Goshen Valley Road when he observed a man riding a motorcycle that matched the description of a BOLO (be on the lookout) for a stolen bike with a rider not wearing a helmet.
The theft had taken place in Greene County near the Beech Creek community, and the rider was later identified as Timothy Edward Griffin, 35, of Greeneville.
When Mays attempted a traffic stop, Griffin allegedly accelerated and fled east on 11-W where he ran a red light and did a U-turn at the South Central Avenue intersection.
“(Griffin) eventually reached speeds of 90 miles per hour while still traveling westbound on 11-W, and drove in a reckless manner as to force vehicles to abruptly change lanes while passing them,” Mays stated in his report. “Mr. Griffin eventually entered into the city of Surgoinsville and near the Quikstop Gas Station, SPD Chief James Hammonds pulled into his lane of travel. Myself and Hammonds performed a ‘rolling roadblock’ forcing Mr. Griffin to drive down into the grass median.”
Mays added, “At that point Mr. Griffin exited the opposite side of the median and began traveling westbound in the eastbound lanes for a short distance.”
Griffin then reportedly pulled into the parking lot of a daycare center located on Highway 11-W, where he abandoned the motorcycle and fled into the woods.
Several officers responded to the area and set a perimeter around the wooded area, and Griffin was eventually captured.
Police suspect that Griffin used a screwdriver and pliers located near the motorcycle to steal the bike.
Prior to the motorcycle theft, Griffin had 11 outstanding warrants in Greene County as well as a theft warrant in Hamblen County, and he will face new theft charges in Greene County related to the motorcycle incident.
Mays charged Griffin with theft by possession over $1,000, felony evading arrest, evading on foot, reckless driving, possession of burglary tools, driving on a suspended license and other traffic violations.