HICKMAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – Authorities in several counties are still putting together the pieces of a two-county manhunt in which a community was placed on lockdown and a car flew through the trees.
According to dash cam provided by Centerville police, the chase started in Centerville just before 12:30 p.m. Thursday.
Chief Shanon Irwin told News 2, 28-year-old Chase Walton was driving on a revoked license.
Officers initiated a traffic stop, but authorities said Walton punched it.
According to Chief Irwin, it was about a mile down the road that his passenger, 27-year-old Myranda Winters, began throwing contraband out a window, including materials believed to be stolen in burglaries.
Irwin told News 2, officers attempted to lay down spike strips, but Walton drove his 1999 Honda Accord around them.
Soon after, Chief Irwin said Walton pointed a black handgun at the pursuing officer. Because of the way Walton was maneuvering the weapon, the officer believed he was shot at and reported that over the radio.
According to Chief Irwin, at the end of the almost 30-minute, high-speed chase, officers found that weapon. It turned out to be a flare gun that was painted black. Chief Irwin said the flare gun looks just like a semi-automatic pistol.
At approximately 12:49 p.m., Centerville P.D. dash cam showed the Honda speeding toward a dead end at Highway 412. You can only go left and right, but as Maury County Sheriff Bucky Rowland told News 2, Walton goes straight, smashing through the guard rail and then launching into a ravine.
Both Chief Irwin and Sheriff Rowland confirmed the car traveled 20-to-25 feet, striking cars, even rolling before crashing.
In his 23-years in law enforcement, Chief Shanon Irwin said he has never seen a moment quite like that.
“We never thought they could run from the vehicle. When it launched, it was a 25 foot drop on the other side of the guard rail. We never thought the individual could run from the vehicle, but he was able to,” said Irwin.
According to investigators, Winters stayed at the scene. She was taken to Maury Regional with non-life-threatening injuries.
“I guess the Lord was with him that day,” Sheriff Rowland said.
Sheriff Rowland said his officers set up at the busy intersection of Highway 412 and North Cross Bridges Road. He said he’s thankful that the speeding man didn’t T-bone an innocent motorist or a deputy stationed nearby.
“He clips the guard rail and flies thru the air probably 15 to 20 feet. He is up in the air before striking a tree. The vehicle flips, and he hits the ground running. He didn’t care what jurisdiction he was in. He had bad intentions. He wanted to get away, and he didn’t care who he killed to do that,” Rowland said.
The next six and a half hours were filled with community lockdowns and law enforcement from Maury, Centerville, THP, Williamson County, Columbia sealing off the Hampshire community and searching for Walton from above and below.
Rowland said he is proud of Middle Tennessee law enforcement and how they came together as one to capture a dangerous man.
“We had boots on the ground from all different agencies,” said Sheriff Rowland.
Around 8:15 p.m., almost eight hours after Centerville first activated blue lights, a Hampshire Pike resident saw Walton and called 911.
“The guy’s trying to get a ride to Hickman County. He is sitting on the front porch waiting on his momma. He is running. He is running,” said the resident.
News 2 obtained cell phone footage showing a phalanx of law officers swooping in, converging on the trailer where Walton was found hiding.
On body cam you can hear officers moving in saying, “I got cuffs. I got cover. Put your hands behind your back right now.”
And like that, Walton surrenders without further incident. He was taken to a hospital and then brought to the Maury County Jail where he faces multiple charges in multiple counties.
Sheriff Rowland said, “When someone puts our lives at risk, we’ll just go out and execute our job. If you listen, it will be a good outcome. I cannot say enough good things about surrounding agencies coming together to get a bad guy off the street.”
Walton is currently in the Maury County Jail, where he’s charged with aggravated assault.
According to Centerville police, he’s facing about a dozen more serious crimes there including aggravated assault on a police officer, evading arrest, reckless endangerment and meth charges.
Winters is currently in the Hickman County Jail under a slew of charges associated with the dangerous chase, as well.