Police pursuit suspect in custody, details on chase released

Published 4:37 pm Monday, April 30, 2018

A man who allegedly fled from pursuing deputies on Thursday leading the Carter County Sheriff’s Department to ask for the public’s help in locating him was arrested Friday evening on multiple charges.

Deputies of the CCSO arrested Lance Justin Lewis, 27, of 151 Bernie Lewis Road, Elizabethton, around 6 p.m. on Friday and served him with a warrant charging him with felony evading arrest, driving on a suspended license, and violation of the light law.

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According to court documents, the charges against Lewis stem from a police pursuit which occurred on Thursday and ended after the vehicle he was driving crashed into a tree and Lewis allegedly fled the scene on foot.

On Thursday evening, shortly before 8:30 p.m., CCSO Deputy Nathaniel Swymer responded to Little Stoney Creek Road after a 911 caller reported a suspicious person going through the neighborhood asking people to scrap the metal in the back of the vehicle.

“Concerned citizens stated they believed the vehicle to be ‘casing’ the neighborhood for possible thefts,” Swymer said.

The 911 caller described the vehicle as a red four-door Ford F150 truck with no back window.

Swymer said as he pulled out of Little Stoney Creek Road he saw a truck matching that description and he notified 911 he was going to attempt to pull the vehicle over.

“Upon engaging my blue lights, the vehicle came to a stop by Unaka High School. The vehicle then sped off and went through the parking lot, circling back around the school,” Swymer said. “The vehicle then turned left toward Johnson County. I continued to pursue the vehicle down Highway 91 until the vehicle turned onto Rome Hollow to avoid support units.”

“The vehicle then turned and cut through multiple yards to get back onto Highway 91 going back toward Unaka High School,” he continued.

Swymer said he followed the truck as it turned onto Blue Springs Road to avoid additional officers responding to the pursuit. The truck then turned onto Willow Springs Road and then Buckles Cemetery Road before returning to Willow Springs Road. The driver then turned into Danner Subdivision, where it struck another vehicle while fleeing through the subdivision before getting back on Highway 91.

“Once back on Highway 91, the vehicle turned onto Bill Lewis Road where I managed to push the vehicle into a tree to prevent him from causing more damage and potentially endangering anyone else,” Swymer said. “At that point, the driver bailed out of the vehicle and jumped into the creek.”

“I ran around the creek and pursued the suspect on foot into the woods but was unable to locate the driver,” he continued. “Deputy Amos Halava was able to identify the suspect based on the driver’s license left in the vehicle.”

In the early hours on Friday morning, the Carter County Sheriff’s Department issued a released statement regarding the pursuit and asking anyone with information regarding Lewis’ whereabouts to contact the Sheriff’s Department.

On Friday evening, the Sheriff’s Department released a statement announcing that Lewis had been located by deputies and placed into custody.