Sevierville Police: Officer injured in routine stop, suspect arrested after three-county chase

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SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A police officer was injured Thursday, March 19, while he was attempting to stop a suspect from fleeing.

At approximately 5:30 p.m., Sevierville Police Department Officer Travis Byram stopped a vehicle for an altered license plate on Dolly Parton Parkway near Industrial Park Drive. Upon approaching the vehicle on foot, Byram observed what appeared to be a large amount of methamphetamine in the back seat between two passengers.

When the driver began to put the vehicle in gear, Byram attempted to remove him from the vehicle. The driver was able to flee, and in so doing, Byrum received a contusion and abrasions to his arm caused by the moving vehicle. He was treated and released from the hospital.

The driver was identified as 40-year-old Benjamin Hugh Justus of New Market, Tenn. Warrants were obtained for aggravated assault, felony evading and not having a valid driver’s license. Justus also had an outstanding warrant for felony evading on another occasion.

At about 8:45 p.m. Thursday, a Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office deputy observed Justus and attempted to stop his vehicle, which led to a pursuit back into Sevierville. SPD officers deployed spike strips on Tennessee Highway 139, which reportedly damaged one tire. He continued to run and was ultimately apprehended in Knox County by Jefferson County Sheriff Office deputies.

Justus faces additional charges from the JCSO as well.

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