ROGERSVILLE — Rogersville police Wednesday were still assessing the cost of the damage done to four patrol cars during a high-speed chase Tuesday afternoon, but they did place several charges against the suspect Wednesday morning.
David Lee Foster, 19, 5004 Tazewell Highway, Sneedville, had already by charged by the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office with felony evading arrest, reckless driving, possession of drug paraphernalia, and three counts of felony reckless endangerment.
Wednesday morning the Rogersville Police Department additionally charged Foster with five counts of aggravated assault on a police officer, four counts of reckless endangerment, felony evading arrest, reckless driving, resisting arrest and possession of stolen property.
The chase began Tuesday around 4 p.m. in Bean Station after local police there spotted a pickup driven by Foster that had been reported stolen Monday night in Jefferson City.
Police said Foster, who had a 26-year-old mother and two girls ages 8 and 9 in the truck with him, fled east on Highway 11-W when Bean Station police tried to stop him. Nelson said the mother called 911 during the chase, and dispatchers could hear her screaming and begging Foster to stop.
By the time the chase reached Rogersville, there were at least 12 police vehicles involved including two from Bean Station, four from the HCSO and six from Rogersville.
Rogersville Police Chief Doug Nelson said that east of the city Foster rammed a police car driven by Officer Joey Maddox, forcing Maddox into the 11-W median.
Foster then allegedly crossed into the westbound lane of Highway 11-W and continued east for about a mile — running several oncoming vehicles off the road.
Foster then turned north on Stanley Valley Road and led the caravan of police cars almost to the Virginia state line.
As he reached a “Y” in the road at Caney Valley Loop Foster allegedly spun the car around 180 degrees, mashed the gas pedal, and struck three more Rogersville police cars before being apprehended.
Foster allegedly resisted arrest after being stopped and received cuts and bruises in the ensuing scuffle.
No one was seriously injured, although his unwilling passengers were reportedly shaken by the incident.
Insurance should cover the cost of the damaged patrol cars, and Nelson said his officers will be sharing cars until repairs are made.
The cost of the damage was still undetermined Wednesday afternoon.
“We’ve got one out getting estimates, and I’m still taking pictures of one here, and we’ve still got one at home and one at City Hall,” Nelson said. “It’s going to be several thousand dollars, but I just don’t know an exact figure yet. One had got light cosmetic damage, one has some body damage, (James) Hammonds’ is going to need a new front end, and Joey’s has got several dents, a broken windshield, and the (THP) trooper said there might be some undercarriage damage.
“It’s possible that the frame is even warped, but I don’t know that for sure.”
Ironically, during a meeting Tuesday evening the Rogersville Board of Mayor and Aldermen discussed delaying the purchase of two new patrol cars that are requested by Nelson in the proposed 2008-09 budget.
Foster remained lodged in the Hawkins County Jail without bond Wednesday. He is scheduled for arraignment on his HCSO and RPD charges on June 16.
Charges are also pending against Foster from Grainger and Jefferson counties.