Police: Driver charged after high-speed chase

Published 8:07 am Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Johnson City man is facing multiple charges after police say he was observed speeding and failed to pull over for officers.
Jason Perkins, 40, 1704 East Millard St., Johnson City, was arrested shortly before 2 a.m. on Wednesday by Elizabethton Police Department Officer James Sexton and charged with driving under the influence, violation of the open container law, failure to yield to lights/siren, speeding – 20-plus mph over, and violation of the light law.
Sexton said he was traveling east on West Elk Avenue near Buck Van Huss Drive when he saw a dark-colored truck traveling west at a high rate of speed without any headlights on.
The officer said he checked the vehicle’s speed using his radar, showing the vehicle was traveling 70 miles per hour in a posted 45 mph zone.
Sexton said he activated his lights and siren to attempt a traffic stop but the driver did not pull over.
“The vehicle became very reckless and nearly crashed,” Sexton said. “I terminated the attempted stop for public safety reasons.”
Sexton said after calling off the traffic stop, he pulled to the side of the road and waited for a few minutes before proceeding westbound on Highway 67, where he reported finding the vehicle pulled over on the shoulder of the road approximately one-half mile away from where he had stopped following it.
The officer said he then pulled in behind the vehicle and made contact with the driver, identified as Perkins. While speaking to him, Sexton said he detected the odor of an alcoholic beverage and said the man had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech.
The officer said he also observed an open can of beer in the vehicle’s cup holder.
Sexton said he asked the driver to perform a series of field sobriety tests but Perkins said he was not able to.
“Perkins advised he had broken bones in his back and torn muscles in his knees,” Sexton said.
Because the man complained of the injuries, Sexton said asked him to perform field sobriety tests which would not require him to stand, including the finger dexterity test, alphabet recital test and a test estimating the passage of 30 seconds.
Sexton said Perkins performed “poorly” on the tests.
Perkins reportedly told the officer he had 9-10 beers. “I asked Perkins if he thought he was over the legal limit,” Sexton said. “He said yes.”
“Perkins told me he knew he was drunk and just wanted to ‘pay his fine and go home,’” Sexton added.
When asked why he didn’t stop when the officer attempted to pull him over, Sexton said Perkins replied he “was trying to turn his headlights on.”

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