BLUFF CITY — A Jonesborough man who led officers on a vehicular pursuit near race traffic heading to Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday morning was allegedly in possession of drugs and wanted by authorities in five different counties.
Bluff City Police Chief David Nelson said in a report that one of his officers stopped a 1999 Pontiac Sunbird driven by Johnny Ray Garland, 32, 2836 Old Route 34, Jonesborough, at the Tri-City Flea Market parking lot on the Volunteer Parkway on Saturday shortly after 10 a.m.
Nelson said that Garland had been driving recklessly, resulting in the traffic stop. But Garland allegedly drove away from the the scene at a high rate of speed during the traffic stop.
“The vehicle recklessly entered the northbound traffic on Highway 11-E (Volunteer Parkway), which was heavily congested with race traffic,” Nelson said in his report. “The vehicle then abruptly made a U-turn in the grass median and then proceeded south on Highway 11-E.”
Nelson said the Pontiac then turned onto Whitehead Road and proceeded at a high rate of speed before losing control at the Weaver Branch Road intersection and leaving the roadway.
Garland then allegedly fled on foot in a southwest direction, but he was captured by Bluff City and Sullivan County authorities at the 900 block of Weaver Branch Road thanks to a concerned citizen who pointed out Garland’s location.
Prescription medication was allegedly found inside Garland’s vehicle. A computer check on Garland showed him to be wanted in Washington, Carter, Greene and Unicoi counties in Tennessee and Washington County, Va. — mostly for probation violations, failure to appear, petty thefts and forgeries.
A search of the vehicle also allegedly revealed Garland to be in possession of assorted power tools and credit/I.D. cards belonging to other people. Nelson said an investigation is under way as to the origin of that property.
Garland was charged with reckless endangerment, evading arrest, resisting arrest, possession of Schedule III narcotics, possession of Schedule IV narcotics, driving on revoked license fourth offense, no proof of insurance, illegal use of a license plate, driving an unregistered vehicle and being a fugitive from justice.
He was lodged in the Sullivan County Jail on $10,000 bond.