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July 31st, 2008 12:00 am by Jeff Bobo

CHURCH HILL — A Church Hill man with an extensive driving record fled a traffic stop in Hawkins County early Thursday morning but was unable to escape after leading pursuing police officers to his own back yard.

Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Don Mitchell stated in his report that shortly before 1 a.m. Thursday he observed a rough looking 1993 Mercury Tracer station wagon weaving across lines eastbound on Highway 11-W near Church Hill.

“I then stopped the vehicle and upon making contact with the driver, later identified as James Fawbush, he refused to turn off his engine,” Mitchell said. “As I opened the door the vehicle sped away.”

The chase passed through Mount Car- mel, turned around, and then headed back toward Church Hill.

Eventually Fawbush, 36, led the chase to his home at 126 Housewright Hollow Road, where he “was forced to stop in the back yard of his residence.”

“He refused commands from officers to stop the engine or place the car in park,” Mitchell stated in his report. “Officers were able to turn off the motor and place the subject into custody after a brief struggle. He had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage about his person.

“He staggered and was aggressive.”

Fawbush allegedly told assisting Church Hill officer Kevin Grigsby that he drank “six tall boys” — a phrase used to describe 24-ounce cans of beer. A normal can of beer is 12 ounces.

A computer check revealed Fawbush to be convicted on three previous occasions as a habitual motor vehicle offender between 2001-04, four prior DUI convictions between 1994-2001, and five previous driving on revoked convictions between 1992-2003.

Thursday morning Fawbush was charged with evading arrest, aggravated assault, DUI fifth offense, driving on revoked sixth offense, habitual motor vehicle offender, and violation of the implied consent law for allegedly refusing to take a Breathalyzer test.

He remained lodged in the Hawkins County Jail Thursday evening on $10,000 bond.

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