By Michael R. Moser
A Cumberland County man wanted on outstanding warrants in Cumberland County and facing charges in more than a half dozen other jursdictions as a suspect in several burglaries, a home invasion, thefts and for being a convicted felon in possession of firearms remains on the lam.
One person was captured Wednesday at gunpoint by a citizen on the old Mullins Farm — now called the ZWT Ranch — property off Plateau Rd. following a car chase that ended in a crash and a foot pursuit that followed. No information as to his identity or charges was available at press time.
The man turned over to police, however, is not the suspect law enforcement has been seeking for nearly three weeks, Chief Sheriff's Investigator Casey Cox told the Chronicle. That person is identified as Jason Russell Randolph, 27, whose latest address is listed on High Rock Loop. Randolph has a lengthy criminal record dating back at least ten years, mostly on charges of theft.
Randolph is wanted on two probation violation warrants from Cumberland County and a theft-related warrant from Roane County. In addition, he will face new charges in Cumberland County and law enforcement agencies in Blount, Fentress, Putnam, Overton and White counties have or are considering charges.
Cox said a Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent assigned to the Safe Neighborhoods detail in Knoxville and the Criminal Investigation Division of the Tennessee Highway Patrol have active investigations into the suspect's activities.
Cumberland County law enforcement first attempted to arrest Randolph when he and a brother were accused of stealing a vehicle from Linda's Coffee Shop parking lot in Pleasant Hill three weeks ago. He was able to escape after abandoning the vehicle in a field, but the brother was taken into custody.
The next contact with law enforcement came when he was identified as a suspect in an armed home invasion in the Muddy Pond community in Overton County.
White County officers then attempted to stop a suspect they believed to be Randolph without success last week. The resulting search and arrest the suspect resulted in the recovery of motorcycles and pickup trucks that had been reported stolen.
That same day, Cumberland County Sheriff's Investigator David Gibson recovered a stolen vehicle in a wooded area off Sandy Creek Rd. where shots were fired in the area. It was later determined on witness statements that Randolph frequented the area to shoot guns and did not know Gibson was in the area when shots were fired. When he heard sirens approaching the area, he again fled on foot into a wooded area and escaped.
The latest chase took place Wednesday afternoon when Sheriff's Investigator Jerry Jackson spotted a vehicle on Lantana Rd. at Taylor's Chapel Rd. that matched the description of one believed tied to the suspect. The officer turned around on the suspect but lost sight of the vehicle. Jackson notified other agencies to be on the lookout for the vehicle and suspect. Moments later, a Crossville Police officer who happened to be on Lantana Rd. spotted the car and attempted to stop it.
The motorist fled, traveling at a high rate of speed on Main St. to Northside Dr. and Hwy. 70 N. With city and county officers trying to close in, the suspect turned on Creston Rd. to Plateau Rd. where he crashed the vehicle on an icy curve on Wilson Rd.
Both occupants fled on foot, sparking a large manhunt that included tracking dogs and a Tennesee Highway Patrol helicopter.
An employee of ZWT Ranch made contact with the driver and held him at gunpoint until police officers could arrive and take him into custody.
A residential burglary in the area was reported and one resident reported to police that his black pickup truck had been stolen by a man fitting Randolph's description of being 6-foot, two-inches tall and of slender build. That vehicle was recovered on Raccon Dr. in Wyndridge Estates Wednesday night and investigators confirmed that someone picked up the suspect and left that area.
Thursday law enforcement agencies were keeping the roads hot in the northern end of the county while investigators were making contacts with known acquaintances of Randolph.
Anyone with information concerning the suspect's whereabouts is asked to contact the Cumberland County Sheriff's Department at 484-6176 immediately.