The incident began at the Stage Coach Store in Castalian Springs, when 36-year-old Christopher Charles Oxendine purchased gasoline and drove off without paying. Area law enforcement were advised to be on the lookout for this subject and Officer Gary Cato, of the Trousdale County Sheriffs Department noticed the vehicle and stopped him at McMurry Blvd. across from Ronnie’s BP.
According to Officer Cato, Oxendine asked the deputy why he stopped him and he replied that his vehicle matched the description of the truck Sumner County was looking for. “I asked for his driver’s license,” said Cato, “and went back to my patrol car to run his DL information. He then took off and headed east on Highway 25 and Deputy Hobbs and I began a pursuit.”
“He turned on Hwy. 10 heading toward Macon County,” Cato said, “and I went around him so Officer Hobbs and I could box him in. He was all over the road and we decided to terminate our pursuit because of the dangerous highway, which is heavily traveled.”
“We notified Macon County that we now had a felony fleeing warrant on Oxendine and he was heading their way.”
LPD Captain Kevin Woodard heard details of the situation over the radio and immediately began preparing for Oxendine’s arrival. “I stationed Officer Henry Behr and Stacey Woodard at the top of the hill, Jeff Hix half way down the hill and I headed on down Highway 10 South, where I soon encountered the suspect. I turned around and Oxendine started passing on the double yellow line putting innocent lives in danger.”
Chief Amalfitano stated that with the severity of the suspect’s driving, his department felt it necessary to stop him for the safety of the citizens of Lafayette and Macon County.
“My team including, Captain Woodard, Sgt. Tucker, Officer Jeff Hix, and Lt. Jason Roberts, began a low speed pursuit and boxed him in when he turned onto Highway 52 East at the intersection at the top of the hill,” said the Chief. “We wanted to keep him from harming anyone with speed and reckless driving.”
The Tennessee Highway Patrol tried to lay spike strips on Highway 52 East to stop the suspect’s vehicle, at which time he dared out into the oncoming lane running three vehicles off the road onto private property.
“He almost hit two semi’s on 52 East near the funeral home,” continued the Chief, “and my officers were well within their means of policy and procedure trying to keep the citizens safe from this maniac driver, who had no regard for human life.”
The pursuit went through Lafayette, out into the county and into Red Boiling Springs, where the Lafayette Police Department received assistance from Chief Terry Tuck.
“He side swiped Jeff Hix’s patrol car at Hillwood Shopping Center,” said Amalfitano, “and he lost control when he turned onto the Carthage Road. He also hit the side of Sgt. Tucker car and hit Stacey Woodard head on putting all of their lives in danger.”
The subject jumped out of his vehicle and attempted to flee on foot, but he was quickly apprehended and taken into custody.”
“When the officers felt everyone was finally safe,” said the Chief, “they started looking into Oxendine’s criminal past. He had a true bill indictment out of Sumner County for dragging a man behind his vehicle, and his record also included aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, along with assault on police officers.”
“We aren’t going to allow anyone to come into this town and jeopardize the lives of our citizens and their children. Our job is to protect the people of Lafayette and we will safely guard our community through any situations that might arise. And in closing I want to commend my officers for a job well done.”
Christopher Charles Oxendine, of 100 Village Drive in Carthage, has been charged in Macon County with evading arrest, aggravated assault and reckless endangerment. His bond was set for $210,000 and a court date is scheduled for April 18th. He also faces charges in Trousdale and Sumner Counties.
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