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Two men and a backhoe: Bizarre pursuit prompts arrest of Kingsport brothers

July 30th, 2013 1:40 pm by Rain Smith

Two men and a backhoe: Bizarre pursuit prompts arrest of Kingsport brothers

Steven T. Steadman, 24, and Johnny K. Steadman, 26

KINGSPORT — A stolen backhoe, three separate vehicle pursuits and a pair of foot chases have landed two Kingsport brothers in jail.

One suspect, who was later determined to be under the influence, was allegedly weaving the backhoe back and forth on Sullivan Gardens Parkway at approximately 4 a.m. when spotted by police.

The other is accused of acting as his brother's getaway man, stopping to let him jump in the back of a pickup truck, then speeding away from a pursuing officer.

Both Steven T. Steadman, 24, and Johnny K. Steadman, 26, were ultimately arrested in the incident, with each facing multiple charges.

At approximately 4 a.m. Tuesday, Sullivan County central dispatch received a call from a citizen alerting authorities to the suspicious road traffic on Hialeah Drive. The call was forwarded to Kingsport dispatch and a BOLO was issued.

KPD Officer Justin McConnell responded to the Sullivan Gardens area and located the backhoe at New Moore Road and South Wilcox Drive. An arrest report says the backhoe, valued at $85,000, was heading south toward the Eastman soccer fields with its lights activated.
It was also allegedly "weaving considerably from the inside lane into the middle of the road and then back to the inside lane."

The equipment, allegedly operated by Steven Steadman, was later learned to be stolen from a construction site on Rock Springs Road. When McConnell activated his squad car's light to conduct a stop, Steven Steadman allegedly "accelerated rapidly" and turned onto Shady View Road, then stopped in the yard of a residence.

Police say Steadman jumped from the backhoe and ran, heading back toward Sullivan Gardens Parkway. When Steadman reached the highway with McConnell in pursuit, he reportedly jumped in the bed of a pickup that was stopped in the middle of the road and yelled, "Go, go, go!"

That vehicle was allegedly driven by Steven Steadman's brother, Johnny Steadman. A police report says that when later questioned about the incident, Johnny said he'd simply gone to pick up his brother, who had called him on the phone saying he'd "made a mistake" and "needed a ride."

Johnny Steadman reportedly accelerated away heading south on Sullivan Gardens Parkway. KPD Officer Brandon Ferrell began pursing the pickup, with Johnny Steadman stopping it near the intersection of Sullivan Gardens Drive.

Police say Steven Steadman jumped from the bed and was apprehended after a brief foot chase. Meanwhile, his brother reportedly turned his pickup around and headed  north on Sullivan Gardens Parkway.

KPD Patrol Lt. Todd Harrison observed the pickup turn onto Shady View Road and activated his squad car's lights. Approximately one mile later, Johnny Steadman stopped his vehicle and was taken into custody.

Johnny Steadman, of 3045 Ridgemont Circle, Kingsport, is charged with accessory after the fact and evading arrest.

Steven Steadman, of 611 Lone Star Road, Kingsport, is charged with theft of property over $60,000, driving under the influence, evading arrest and driving on a revoked license.

He reportedly admitted to drinking a six pack of beer prior to the incident, but refused to answer any questions. A warrant was obtained for a mandatory blood draw to determine his blood alcohol content.

Both brothers were booked into the Kingsport City Jail.



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