ROGERSVILLE — A Sneedville man accused of stealing a pickup in Jefferson County was spotted by Bean Station police Tuesday afternoon and led police on a chase through Rogersville before crashing into several police cars in the Stanley Valley community.
No one was seriously hurt in the incident, including two girls ages 8 and 9 and their mother who were in the stolen pickup during the chase.
The mother, Kasey Fox, 26, of Tazewell, actually called 911 during the chase and could be heard by dispatchers screaming and begging the suspect to stop.
The suspect, David Lee Foster, 19, 5004 Tazewell Highway, Sneedville, is facing a potpourri of charges including theft and evading from Jefferson and Grainger counties.
The Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office has charged him with felony evading arrest, reckless driving, possession of drug paraphernalia, and three counts of felony reckless endangerment for his alleged unwilling passengers.
The Rogersville Police Department had six patrol cars involved in the chase, and four of those were damaged. Rogersville Police Chief Doug Nelson said his department will be placing charges against Foster this morning including at least four counts of aggravated assault on a police officer, and possibly six counts.
According to police, a Chevrolet pickup was reported stolen around 9 p.m. Monday in Jefferson City. Hawkins County and Rogersville Central Dispatch were notified at 4:01 p.m. Tuesday that Bean Station police had spotted the stolen pickup, which had fled when they tried to stop it, and they were in pursuit eastbound on Highway 11-W.
Nelson said that by the time the pursuit reached Rogersville there were at least 12 police vehicles involved including two from Bean Station, four from Hawkins County and six from Rogersville.
“He wouldn’t stop, but before we got to (the) Stanley Valley (Road intersection), he got slowed down enough for Officer (Joey) Maddox to get in front of him and a couple of county cruisers got him boxed in,” Nelson said. “I watched him just run up and knock Joey down in the median. When he went into the median he lost control, went up on the other side, and then he went a mile or so down the wrong way of 11-W running vehicles off the road.
“He nearly struck a pickup truck and a van, and I don’t know how he got in between them, and then this great big tanker truck slowed down and actually got to a stop at Stanley Valley Road and he went up that way.”
Police allegedly clocked Foster at around 80 mph throughout the 11-W pursuit, and when he turned onto Stanley Valley Road the vehicle slowed to around 55 mph — which Nelson noted is still a bit fast for that narrow, curving road.
The chase continued onto the Caney Valley Loop area, where Foster came upon a “Y” in the road. One way led to Virginia and the other to a dead end.
“He spun his vehicle out, floored it and rammed (RPD Officer) Ken Ferguson and knocked him out of the way,” Nelson said. “Then he hit (RPD Officer) James Hammonds head on and then hit (RPD Officer) Tim Clevinger also. I don’t know if he didn’t know which way to go or what, but he spun out, turned around and came back and hit them on their side of the road.
“He finally got off in the grass and was spinning out, and Ken Ferguson rolled his car back to keep him from getting back up on the road. Then he got his front tires on the road and rammed Ken and pinned him in his cruiser. They ran around the car and took him down at gunpoint.”
Fox and her two girls weren’t restrained in the car, but they weren’t hurt. They were just very upset, Nelson said.
Foster was treated for cuts and bruises at the Hawkins County Memorial Hospital emergency room before being lodged in the Hawkins County Jail without bond.
Specific charges from Jefferson and Grainger counties were not available.