Suspect runs eight red lights in Kingsport chase; reaches 70 mph on Center Street

Rain Smith • Dec 7, 2009 at 12:00 AM

A Kingsport man was arrested on felony charges Sunday after allegedly leading police on a high-speed chase, running eight red lights and nearly hitting several vehicles.

According to a report at the Kingsport Police Department, officers had originally tried to stop the man for tailgating another vehicle -- and later located him with the aid of an ID card he chucked out the window during the chase.

The incident began shortly after 4 a.m., near East Stone Drive and North Eastman Road. Police say they observed a Ford Explorer tailgating a Honda Civic. When the Honda turned into K-Mart on East Stone Drive, the Ford did as well, and continued to closely follow the vehicle. Police say they activated their lights to initiate a stop.

Instead of stopping, the Ford Explorer accelerated away. Police followed the vehicle back to North Eastman Road, where it turned to travel towards Fort Henry Drive. Near Hemlock Lane the driver allegedly threw an unknown object out the window, then turned right onto Fort Henry towards Center Street.

"I observed the vehicle gaining speed and driving all over the road," reports the officer. "The vehicle went through the red light of Ft. Henry and Center without slowing and continued west on East Center Street."

According to the police report, another officer stopped traffic at the intersection of Wilcox and Center Street to avoid a potential collision with the suspect's vehicle. The suspect then turned left onto Wexler Street, then left onto Market Street towards Sullivan Street.

The police report says two other officers were parked in a parking lot near the intersection of Market and Sullivan. The suspect allegedly steered his vehicle towards the officers, nearly striking their squad cars.

The suspect then turned left onto Sullivan Street, allegedly throwing what was later identified as an alcoholic beverage out the window. He turned left back on to East Center Street, "and approached speeds of 70 mph," reports the officer.

The vehicle continued west on Center Street and, according to police, "showed no signs of stopping." The officer terminated the pursuit, and returned to the area of Hemlock Lane to locate what the suspect had first thrown from his vehicle.

Police say they found in the road a Tennessee ID card issued to Lucas M. Peterson, 26, of 400 Ridgefields Road, Kingsport. A license check revealed Peterson had a prior DUI conviction and his license had been revoked.

Police responded to the Ridgefields Road address to look for the suspect's Ford Explorer, but it was not found. However, while speaking with family that were home, the suspect arrived on foot.

Peterson, who police say appeared to be intoxicated, was placed into custody. His vehicle was found a short distance away, at Ridgefields Park, and was towed.

Peterson agreed to a blood test to determine the alcohol and drug content of his blood. While being booked into jail, a Percocet was allegedly found in his possession.

Police charged Peterson with tailgating, two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of littering, eight counts of running red lights, felony evading police and felony reckless endangerment. He was also charged with second offense DUI, driving on a revoked license and simple possession of schedule II drugs.

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