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UPDATE: Carter County authorities arrest man involved in Thursday pursuit

John Thompson • Updated Apr 27, 2018 at 8:08 PM

ELIZABETHTON — A man who the Carter County Sheriff’s Department said led officers on a vehicle and foot chase through the Stoney Creek community Thursday evening has been arrested, the department said in a news release.

Around 6 p.m. Friday, deputies arrested 27-year-old Lance Justin Lewis, 27, 150 Bernie Lewis Road, at his home at about 6 p.m. Friday, the release said.

He was charged with felony evading arrest, reckless endangerment and leaving the scene of an accident as part of a chase that started when a deputy attempted a traffic stop.

Neighbors in the Little Stoney Creek community called Thursday to report suspicious activities. Deputy Nathaniel Swymer responded to the neighbors’ calls and was told that the man in the truck was going street to street in the neighborhood, talking to people about scrap metal. Several neighbors were concerned the man might be “casing” the neighborhood for possible thefts.

When Swymer was leaving the neighborhood, he said he saw a truck fitting the description the neighbors gave. He said he turned on his emergency lights, and the truck pulled into Unaka High School and came to a stop. Swymer said the truck then sped off, going through the school parking lot and circling around the school.

Swymer pursued the truck as it headed north on the Stoney Creek Highway until backup cruisers from the opposite direction approached. The pickup truck turned onto Rome Hollow Road to avoid the cruisers.

Swymer said the truck then turned and cut through several yards to get back on the Stoney Creek Highway, heading south.

The truck avoided more cruisers by turning onto Willow Springs Road, eventually turning onto Danner Subdivision. The truck hit a vehicle that was not part of the pursuit in the subdivision, then turned back onto the Stoney Creek Highway.

The truck then turned onto Bill Lewis Road. Swymer said he was able to push the truck into a tree at this point “to prevent him from causing more damage and potentially endangering anyone else.” Swymer said that after being pushed into the tree, the driver bailed out of the truck and jumped into the creek. Swymer pursued the man on foot into the woods, but was not able to capture him.

Deputy Amos Halava found Lewis’ driver’s license inside the truck.

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A previous version of the story:

ELIZABETHTON — The Carter County Sheriff’s Department is searching for a man the department believes was involved in a vehicle and foot pursuit through the Stoney Creek community on Thursday evening.

The department is asking anyone with information on the whereabouts of Lance Justin Lewis, 27, to call the Investigations Division at 423-543-2211. Lewis was described as being 5 feet, 4 inches tall, and weighing about 145 pounds, with blue eyes and light complexion.

Lewis is believed to be the driver of a red 2003 4-door Ford F-150 pickup truck with no back window.

Deputies were first alerted to the truck at 8:20 p.m. Thursday when neighbors in the Little Stoney Creek community called to report suspicious activities. Deputy Nathaniel Swymer responded to the neighbors’ calls and was told that the man in the truck was going street to street in the neighborhood, talking to people about scrap metal. Several neighbors were concerned the man might be “casing” the neighborhood for possible thefts.

When Swymer was leaving the neighborhood, he said he saw a truck fitting the description the neighbors gave. He said he turned on his emergency lights, and the truck pulled into Unaka High School and came to a stop. Swymer said the truck then sped off, going through the school parking lot and circling around the school.

Swymer pursued the truck as it headed north on the Stoney Creek Highway until backup cruisers from the opposite direction approached. The pickup truck turned onto Rome Hollow Road to avoid the cruisers.

Swymer said the truck then turned and cut through several yards to get back on the Stoney Creek Highway, heading south.

The truck avoided more cruisers by turning onto Willow Springs Road, eventually turning onto Danner Subdivision. The truck hit a vehicle that was not part of the pursuit in the subdivision, then turned back onto the Stoney Creek Highway.

The truck then turned onto Bill Lewis Road. Swymer said he was able to push the truck into a tree at this point “to prevent him from causing more damage and potentially endangering anyone else.” Swymer said that after being pushed into the tree, the driver bailed out of the truck and jumped into the creek. Swymer pursued the man on foot into the woods, but was not able to capture him.

Deputy Amos Halava found Lewis’ driver’s license inside the truck.

Swymer placed charges of felony evading arrest, driving on a suspended license and light law violation.

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