Officers capture Loudon Co. robbery suspect in West Knox Co.

Officers capture Loudon Co. robbery suspect in West Knox Co.

Posted:
Officers from multiple agencies were on scene Monday afternoon searching for a suspect. Officers from multiple agencies were on scene Monday afternoon searching for a suspect.
The suspect eventually crashed his car into a tree and took off. The suspect eventually crashed his car into a tree and took off.
Joshua Hayworth was eventually caught and arrested. Joshua Hayworth was eventually caught and arrested.
A Knox County sheriff's deputy who was on his way to the scene lost control of his vehicle and crashed. A Knox County sheriff's deputy who was on his way to the scene lost control of his vehicle and crashed.
Joshua Hayworth (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office) Joshua Hayworth (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)

By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Officials captured a robbery suspect in West Knox County Monday afternoon after a three-hour manhunt.

The Knox County Sheriff's Office assisted other agencies including the Knoxville Police Department, Lenoir City Police Department and the Loudon County Sheriff's Office in apprehending Joshua Hayworth, 23.

Hayworth is accused of robbing the Burger King in Lenoir City on January 30 and stealing a Jeep Wrangler as a getaway vehicle.

Officers spotted Hayworth at 100018 Bob Gray Road where they say he ditched the Jeep and ran into a nearby house.

"He kicked in my door, tried to kick in my door," said Sharon McDonald.

McDonald came face-to-face with the suspect.

"He said 'I need to borrow your phone. I need to call my momma.' That's all he said, and he looked up and saw the cop sitting up the road and he took off between the trailers," she said.

He also broke into her neighbor's mobile home, where a dog chased him away.

"I'm just scared to death, I didn't know I was confronting someone who was dangerous," she said.

Deputies say from there, Hayworth went to Double Tree Road where he saw a woman outside. He knocked her down and stole the keys to her Ford Escape.

She ran after the vehicle because her puppy was inside. The woman held on to the dog and the vehicle as Hayworth dragged her about 20 feet.

She suffered numerous cuts and was taken to the hospital as a precaution because she is pregnant.

He sped off in the vehicle, almost hitting another car.

"The other car is coming at me as fast as he can and I see sirens down the road," said Drew Holt, who was driving down Bob Gray Road at the time.

Hayworth lost control of the vehicle at the entrance to Windamere where he crashed into a tree. He abandoned the car and fled on foot. 

"When I saw him running I assumed he'd done something," said Holt. "It's shocking, it's kind of scary really to realize it could happen here."

Officers say he then ran into a house on Graycreek Lane.

"He actually broke into the back of the house, it appears to be an abandoned house, we located him inside the house behind a couch," said Maj. Mike McClain of the Knox County Sheriff's Department.

He was taken into custody around 6 p.m.

Maj. McClain said they did not find any weapons on him, but that these types of pursuits are always dangerous for officers.

"Obviously it's very tense when dealing with something like that. You see he has a track record just in the last three or four days with the acts he's committed. We know he doesn't have a lot of regard for the safety of the public, and so we obviously want to approach him very carefully and cautiously, and one of the ways we do that is with a show of force," McClain said.

Hayworth was also wanted for violation of probation in Loudon County.

A Knox County sheriff's deputy who was on his way to the scene lost control of his vehicle in a curve on Schaad Road and crashed. Officials say the vehicle slid across the road and landed on its side.

The driver, Deputy Russell Kuhlman, was not injured.

The Knox County Sheriff's Office utilized K-9s and Airwatch in the search for Hayworth. The FBI was also involved because Hayworth was wanted for a crime in another jurisdiction.

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