At that point Officer Petty said he activated his blue lights to pull the vehicle over. Refusing to stop, the driver continued to flee, running six stop signs and traveling the wrong way on the Public Square in the process.
According to Sheriff Mark Gammons, the driver, who was identified as Jonathan Ryan Graves, of Bethpage, lost control of the truck on Ferguson Hill Road and hit a guard rail, but still refused to stop.
Other law enforcement personnel began arriving to assist, including Officer Shane Reid, of the Lafayette Police Department, who heard Petty attempting to stop the vehicle on Sycamore Street, and with the Mazda pickup heading through the middle of the city, Reid joined the pursuit through the downtown area.
Chief Ray Amalfitano said that Captain Woodard was monitoring the chase, advising Reid to stay with Officer Petty until Deputy Kimball Hall arrived as back up. Officer Danny Meador remained to protect the city while Reid was outside the city limits.
“Graves almost hit Deputy Hall’s patrol car numerous times,” said the Sheriff, “while attempting to run Hall off the road. One was in front and the other was behind the fleeing suspect, who continued to avoid arrest.”
He left Ferguson Hill Road and continued into Trousdale County on Highway 10, turning on Fort Blount Road, losing control close to Dixon Creek. He fled the vehicle and was apprehended several hours later by officers of the Trousdale County Sheriffs Department.
Leon Hurt, of Gainesboro, who was a passenger in the Mazda pickup truck, was brought in for questioning by Officer Petty, but was later released.
“We had eight officers looking for the suspect,” said Trousdale County Sheriff Ray Russell, “and he was apprehended around 8:00 a.m. in the Cato area of our county. We charged him with 15 counts of driving on a suspended license, possession of drug paraphernalia, evading arrest and resisting arrest. He was then transported to the Macon County Justice Center, where he was also charged with numerous offenses. If he makes bond in Lafayette, he will then be brought back to Hartsville to make bond. No court date has been set in Trousdale County yet.”
Charges filed in Macon County by Officers Petty and Warner, were failure to stop for sign/signal (5 counts), evading arrest, misuse of tag, driving on a suspended license, financial responsibility violation, leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving, reckless endangerment, traffic control device and failure to appear. Bond was set at $4,500 and a court date is scheduled for March 28.
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