A Putnam County man faces 27 local charges after police say he allegedly refused to stop and, instead, led them on a four-county pursuit, according to arrest affidavits and a booking report.
During the case, the fleeing motorist called E-911 centers in three counties, telling dispatchers he did not want to stop because he feared for his life and because he did not want anyone to get hurt.
Jeffery Lyle Pennington, 42, 1850 Industrial Dr., or 702 Standing Stone Dr. Apt A, Monterey, was jailed Sunday morning around 3 a.m. after being taken into custody at the Adams Bridge on Genesis Rd. where Crossville Police had been dispatched to end the pursuit with stop sticks.
Pennington is charged with 16 counts of reckless endangerment, second offense driving under the influence, third offense driving on a revoked license, evading arrest, refusing to take an intoximeter test, reckless driving, and was cited for improper lane changes, failure to maintain lane of travel, speeding, running a stop sign, running a red light and violation of the open container law.
His bond was set at $74,500 and proceedings started to seize his Dodge pickup truck. Pennington is scheduled to appear in Cumberland County General Sessions Court Nov. 21.
It began around 2 a.m. Sunday when Deputy Mac Judkins attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the Dodge truck on Hwy. 70 N not far from the Putnam County line. Instead of stopping, the driver drove into Putnam County, turning onto Hillwood St. to Old Walton Rd.
On Old Walton Rd. Cpl. Tim Tutor caught up with the fleeing motorist, following him to Hwy. 62 and into Fentress County. By this time Monterey Police had also joined the chase.
The pursuit continued on Hwy. 62 into Morgan County where a Morgan County sheriff's deputy blocked the road at the Genesis Rd. intersection, causing the fleeing motorist to turn onto that road and head back into Cumberland County.
Cumberland sheriff's deputies were joined at that point by Morgan County and Wartburg Police officers.
On Adams Bridge, Deputy Avery Aytes and two Crossville Police officers stopped to end the pursuit using stop sticks — devices that disable tires that usually bring chases to a halt, reducing the risk of serious injury.
The driver stopped at the bridge and was taken into custody without further incident.
Deputies reported that the chase never exceeded 85 miles per hour and other than what was told to police dispatchers, no other reason for the flight was given. Pennington, according to Judkins' report, admitted to drinking several beers and to having "a good buzz."
Few motorists were on the road at that time of morning, the report continued, and no one was injured.