A vehicle pursuit that began in Blount County on Wednesday night ended in Anderson County, but without an arrest.
Deputies from the Blount County Sheriff’s Office were in pursuit of a vehicle believed to have been involved in a previous police pursuit in Knox County, that headed north on I-75. State troopers and Anderson County deputies joined the pursuit as it continued north toward the Rocky Top exit. The vehicle got off the interstate at Rocky Top and officers lost sight of it before locating it again in the Beech Grove area.
The driver, identified as 40-year-old Jason Jenkins of Alcoa, fled on foot, leaving behind a female passenger, his fiancee who was taken into custody for questioning. Jenkins managed to elude capture despite law enforcement officers and K9s searching through the night.
Blount County authorities had the car towed and interviewed his fiancee, who said that she had tried to exit the vehicle at the start of the pursuit but that Jenkins had grabbed her by the hair and forced her to remain in the vehicle. She told officers that she had tried without success to get Jenkins to pull over, but that he had been verbally abusive and she feared for her safety.
Once located, Jenkins will face charges of felony evasion, felony reckless endangerment, domestic assault and with being an habitual motor vehicle offender, according to the incident report from the Blount County Sheriff’s Office.
(Statement from BCSO Public Information Officer Marian O’Briant) Shortly after 10 p.m. a Blount County deputy saw a white Dodge Avenger driving erratically crossing the fog-line on Old Knoxville Highway. The vehicle matched the description of vehicle seen possibly casing residences in Blount County earlier this month.
The deputy attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver, identified as Jason F. Jenkins, age 40, refused to stop, and he accelerated and ran several stop signs in an attempt to evade. The deputy followed the vehicle onto Alcoa Highway to Pellissippi Parkway, and eventually onto Interstate 40 to Interstate 75 and several side streets in between. Additional BCSO deputies assisted, and Knox County and Knoxville Police Department also assisted once we entered Knox County. We terminated the pursuit at about 10:40 p.m. just inside the Anderson County line on I-75 when THP deployed spike strips and two of our vehicles struck the spike strips.
The fleeing vehicle fled, with Anderson County and THP continuing the pursuit. At some point, Claiborne County also got involved. At about 12:15, the vehicle was located on Beech Grove Lane in Anderson County.
The female passenger, who was injured after being assaulted by Jenkins, was still with the vehicle, but Jenkins fled on foot. We are still looking for him.
We have warrants for his arrest for felony evading arrest, felony reckless endangerment, Habitual Motor Offender, and domestic assault. The woman who was with Jenkins was treated at the scene for her injuries. She was not charged.