Woman charged with dragging deputy with car arraigned

Published 9:43 am Friday, May 6, 2016

Ray Graphic
A woman charged with striking a sheriff’s deputy with her car as she allegedly attempted to escape arrest appeared in court Thursday for arraignment on multiple charges.
Officers of the Carter County Sheriff’s Office arrested Shawna Lynn Ray, 27, of 106 Reeser Road, Apt. 6, Johnson City, on Wednesday afternoon and charged her with aggravated assault, felony evading arrest, leaving the scene of an accident, resisting arrest and driving on a suspended license.
Ray appeared in Carter County General Sessions Court on Thursday and Judge Keith Bowers Jr. appointed the Public Defender’s Office to represent her. According to records at the Carter County Detention Center, Ray had been held without bond since her arrest. Bowers set her bond as a $500,000 corporate bond, which means Ray would have to post bail through a professional bonding agency.
Ray is scheduled to return to General Sessions Court on May 10.
The charges against Ray stem from an incident that happened Monday afternoon around 2 p.m. at Central Elementary School, located at 252 Taylortown Road, when CCSO Deputy Tracie Pierson, who serves as the School Resource Officer at Central, encountered Ray at the school.
Pierson spoke to Ray about her driving a car on a suspended driver’s license and Ray admitted to the officer she drove the car to the school and also admitted she knew her driver’s license was suspended, CCSO Sgt. Larry Vaughn said in his report on the incident.
Pierson told Ray she was being placed under arrest and Ray ran towards the vehicle she had parked in the school’s loading zone. The deputy pursued Ray and caught up with her as she began to enter her vehicle, Vaughn said.
“Deputy Pierson said she was able to place a handcuff on Ms. Ray’s left wrist, but Ms. Ray used her right hand to start the car and put it in gear,” Vaughn said. “Deputy Pierson said that the vehicle began to move forward and she began to be dragged beside Ms. Ray’s vehicle and eventually was pinned between a parked car and Ms. Ray’s car.”
“According to witness statements, Deputy Pierson was dragged by Ms. ray’s vehicle approximately 30 to 40 yards before Deputy Pierson fell away from Ms. Ray’s vehicle,” he added.
Witnesses at the scene told officers Ray then fled the parking lot at a high rate of pseed. After leaving the school, Ray allegedly sideswiped another vehicle on Dalewood Drive according to Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford.
With the help of surrounding law enforcement agencies, officers with the CCSO later located Ray and arrested her at the intersection of H.D. Crumley Road and Austin Springs Road in Johnson City. Following her arrest, Sheriff’s Office investigators interviewed Ray regarding the incident.
“Ms. Ray confirmed that she ran from Deputy Pierson, that she did resist arrest and that she fled from Deputy Pierson,” Vaughn said. “Ms. Ray said she did not recall hitting a vehicle in the school parking lot and she did not recall dragging Deputy Pierson or trying to scrape Deputy Pierson from the vehicle by side-swiping a parked vehicle.”
Ray told investigators she “blacked out” during the incident and that she had “blacked out” before while evading officers in a previous incident.
“Radio communications from Deputy Pierson’s handheld radio were played for Ms. Ray. In the recording, Deputy Pierson is screaming and a female voice can be heard saying ‘Let go,’” Vaughn said. “Ms. Ray said she did tell Deputy Pierson to “let go” because she wanted to get away from the officer.”

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