SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Kodak man is facing multiple criminal charges after leading police on a slow-speed chase between Sevier and Knox counties over the weekend.
Thomas R. Kelly, 47, is being held in the Sevier County Jail.
The pursuit that began near Exit 407 ended when the suspect’s vehicle crashed into a concrete median at I-40 and I-640 at the west end. A Knox County Sheriff’s Office arrest report states that the Jetta, with three flat tires and running on rims, was traveling at 35 mph.
According to an incident report from the Sevierville Police Department, Kelly was driving a black 2009 Jetta on Monday, Feb. 6 when an officer witnessed that vehicle “turned on hazard lights” and “turned right onto Snyder Road, running the red light.”
The officer conducted a traffic stop, which the report notes led Kelly to stop the vehicle in the middle of Snyder Road. The officer noted in the incident report that Kelly seemed “very disoriented” and could not answer “simple questions.”
“Thomas made statements about bad people looking for him and people digging up graves,” the officer wrote in the arrest warrant narrative.
When the officer noticed Kelly’s vehicle had begun to roll backward toward his patrol vehicle, he says in the report that he “advised Thomas to step out of the vehicle due to his behavior.”
Kelly declined and said, “he had to go right then,” the officers state in the report, adding that the vehicle fled northbound on Snyder Road with emergency hazards on. A Sevierville Police spokesman said Wednesday that the officer did not pursue but warrants were filed on Kelly as a result of the stop.
Later, Sevier County Sheriff’s Office deputies located the vehicle and followed it back into Sevierville, where spike strips were deployed in an attempt to disable it, the spokesman said. However, the vehicle continued onto I-40 and into Knox County.
Around 10:30 pm., dispatchers advised Knox County law enforcement that a pursuit involving a Jetta was coming into the county on I-40 westbound.
“During the pursuit, the suspect, later identified as Thomas Kelly, yelled out the vehicle to officers that he had a bomb,” states a Knox County Sheriff’s Office incident report about the pursuit and arrest.
Knox County officers joined the pursuit at Strawberry Plains Pike, according to the incident report. The pursuit ended when the suspect crashed at the intersection of I-40W and I-640.
While officers were trying to apply wrist restraints, the suspect continued to resist officers. A Knox County Sheriff’s Office deputy reported using a county-issued Taser to stun the suspect once in the back shoulder blade area, which “was effective,” the Knox County incident report states.
No explosive devices were found in the vehicle and the median was not damaged, the Knox County report concludes.
Sevier County deputies brought Kelly to the Sevier County Jail, where he remains.
According to Sevier County inmate records online, Kelly is charged with the following:
- Capias circuit
- Evading arrest
- Traffic control signals
- Driving under the influence
- Failure to maintain lane
- Traffic control device
- Vehicles must stop at stop signs
- Reckless driving
- Resisting arrest
- Evading arrest
- Violation of implied consent law