Police pursuit leads to drug charges

Published 3:23 pm Monday, January 22, 2018

A Carter County man faces multiple charges following an early morning police pursuit on Sunday.

Deputies of the Carter County Sheriff’s Office arrested Eligha Hampton, 22, of 149 Estep Hollow Road, Elizabethton, and charged him with possession of Schedule VI drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, felony evading arrest by motor vehicle, possession of Schedule II drugs, and driving on a revoked license. Deputies also served Hampton with outstanding warrants charging him with failure to appear and violation of probation.

According to court documents, CCSO Deputy Jerad Cook was pulling into the parking lot of Beck Mountain Baptist Church early Sunday morning to check on a vehicle in the parking lot. When he pulled into the parking lot, Cook said the driver of the vehicle, whom he identified as Hampton, looked at him and then pulled out of the parking lot onto Siam Road without his headlights on and began driving toward Steel Bridge Road.

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Cook said he activated the emergency lights and sirens on his police cruiser, but Hampton refused to stop and instead began accelerating. The deputy said he then notified Carter County 911 dispatchers that he was in pursuit of a vehicle.

Lt. Derrick Hamm radioed and stated that he was nearby and would set up spike strips in an attempt to end the pursuit, according to Cook.

“Lt. Hamm deployed the spike strips and was able to effectively deflate the passenger front and rear tires,” Cook said. “The vehicle continued fleeing and throwing packages out of the windows of the vehicle.”

At this point, Cook said Hamm took the lead in the pursuit. Cook said during the pursuit, Hampton “continued to weave across the road to prevent apprehension.”

When Hampton reached Highway 91 in Stoney Creek, Cook said Hampton turned his vehicle northbound, and Hamm was able to successfully perform a PIT (Pursuit Intervention Technique) maneuver and disable Hampton’s vehicle.

The deputies placed Hampton into custody once the vehicle was stopped.

During an inventory of the vehicle, Cook said officers located two baggies with what appeared to be marijuana in them, several items of drug paraphernalia, ammunition, and $575 in cash, which was seized by the deputies.

Deputy Nathaniel Swymer performed a search along the side of the road where Cook witnessed Hampton throwing items from the vehicle and located a white tin container which contained a white crystalline substance believed to be methamphetamine.

Hampton appeared in Carter County General Sessions Court on Monday and was arraigned on the new charges against him. Judge Keith Bowers Jr. appointed the Public Defender’s Office to represent Hampton, and scheduled him to return to court on Feb. 6.

The violation of probation and failure to appear charges against Hampton are out of Criminal Court. He is scheduled to appear in Criminal Court for those charges on Feb. 22.