A vehicle pursuit that began in Blount County on Wednesday night ended in Anderson County, but (as of the time this report was filed, still) without an arrest.
Deputies from the Blount County Sheriff’s Office were in pursuit of a vehicle driving erratically crossing the fog-line on Old Knoxville Highway”, according to Blount County Sheriff’s Office Spokesperson Marian O’Briant. “The vehicle matched the description of vehicle seen possibly casing residents in Blount County earlier this month. The deputy attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver…refused to stop, and he accelerated and ran several stop signs in an attempt to evade.”
O’Briant says the chase went through several counties: “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 [the pursuit] entered Knox County.[Blount County deputies] terminated their pursuit at about 10:40 p.m. just inside the Anderson County line on I-75 [after] THP deployed spike strips and two of [their] vehicles struck the spike strips.”
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 on Beech Grove Lane at around 12:40 am Thursday.
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 eleude capture depsite law enforcement officers and K9s searching through the night. As of the time this report was filed on Friday, Jenkins had not been apprehended, according to O’Briant.
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. The fiancee told officers that she had tried without success to get Jenkins to pull over, but that he told her he wouldn’t because he is classified as an habitual motor vehicle offender and wasn’t going back to jail, and that she feared for her safety. O’Briant said she was treated at the scene for minor injuries allegedly caused by Jenkins and will not face any charges on the case.
Once located, Jenkins will face charges of felony evasion, felony reckless endangerment, domestic assault and with being an habitual motor vehicle offender from Blount County, and will likely face numerous additional charges related to the multi-county pursuit.