Police say man on drugs led officials on hour-long chase in Johnson City


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - A man in is custody after a nearly one-hour long police chase in Johnson City this morning.

Johnson City Police tell News 5 they saw a car driving recklessly on Seminole Drive just before 10:30 this morning.

Shortly after, Washington County Sheriff's deputies say the same car almost hit several deputies and people at Grace Fellowship Church.

At about 10:55 a.m. police say the driver when to the TVA Credit Union on Roan Street and hit the ATM with his car. They suspect he was trying to steal from the ATM.

Officers then located the vehicle near Longhorn Steakhouse on Roan Street. They tried to pull the driver over, but the suspect did not stop. They say he traveled onto I-26, but was traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes. Police say nearly 50 cars were forced off the interstate.

Officers tried to box the driver in, but he went off the interstate and into a residential area. Washington County Sheriff's deputies saw the car travel down a steep embankment. He was then spotted traveling into a barn on Silverdale Road, that's when police say he crashed into a farm implement.

Police say he tried to run from them, but was taken into custody.

"The dangers to the citizens of our city was exponentially great. It was great, it was grave danger. They were put in a lot of danger, the officers were then forced to place themselves in grave danger in order to try to warn motorists on the interstate. They were forced themselves to go the wrong way on the interstate," Captain Brian Rice said.

Police are not releasing his identity yet. They say he is being treated at the hospital. Charges are pending.

Police say the man was on drugs. If you were on the interstate or received property damage, contact JCPD.