Alleged Knoxville car thief tries to flee in Holston River

Alleged Knoxville car thief tries to flee in Holston River

Posted:
Bill Lemka (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office) Bill Lemka (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Knoxville police arrested an alleged car thief Friday morning who tried to flee from officers by jumping into the Holston River.

Bill Lemka, 44, is charged with one count of felony theft.

Officers say the owner of a Ford Taurus said he had been letting it warm up at his Asheville Highway address prior to leaving for work around 5 a.m. Friday. A few minutes later he saw it racing out of the parking lot.

A Knoxville Police Department officer spotted the vehicle traveling on Asheville Highway near E. Governor John Sevier Highway a few moments later.

The vehicle then turned into a parking lot off E. Governor John Sevier Highway near Ruggles Drive.

The driver, identified as Lemka, immediately got out of the car and jumped into the Holston River.

Officers placed Lemka into custody once he exited the water near Asheville Highway and E. Governor John Sevier Highway.

He is being held in the Knox County Detention Center on $5,000 bond.

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