Monday, August 19, 2019

Cocke County pursuit
Half a dozen Newport and Cocke County law officers participated in a Saturday morning pursuit and arrest of a Newport man. Newport Patrol Officer Paul Weber said he tried to stop Matt Douglas, 40, Industrial Road, Newport, on a speeding charge as he entered eastbound I-40 at the 432 mile marker interchange. Douglas stopped on the entrance ramp, identified himself as Ronnie Douglas but said he didn't have his drivers license with him. And he then sped away eastbound on the interstate. Officer Weber said the pursuit reached speeds in excess of 115 miles per hour at 1 am, and then Douglas passed several autos on the shoulder of the roadway, at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. The suspect finally stopped at the 436 mile marker, but he fought with four officers, attempting to kick Officer Weber during the handcuffing procedure. Officers said Douglas appeared to be under the influence of a narcotic. During the chase, police observed a box being thrown from the vehicle. After the stop, a passenger, Thomas Black, 38, Blacks Mountain Road, Hartford, admitted he threw the box from the vehicle on orders from Douglas. Black also reported that he had begged Douglas to stop during the high speed pursuit. Cocke County Deputy Daniel Smith located the box along the interstate and determined that it contained a used needle, a loaded syringe and a spoon with residue. After being taken into custody, Douglas was also found to be in possession of clonazepam pills. As a result, Douglas was jailed on charges of possession of clonazepam, DUI, driving on a revoked license, resisting arrest, speeding, assault, reckless endangerment, failure to exercise due care, fleeing to evade arrest by motor vehicle, kidnapping, possession of drug paraphernalia, tampering with evidence and criminal impersonation. Prior to the pursuit, Douglas was wanted on a warrant charging him with failure to appear for a court hearing, as well as a sealed presentment from the Cocke County Grand Jury. Black was jailed on charges of unlawful drug paraphernalia possession and tampering with evidence.

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