By Charlotte Underwood

LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – A late night Christmas police chase ended in the arrest of a La Follette man in a stolen car and several damaged police cruisers. 

Travis Smith, 32, was arrested on December 25 after leading law enforcement on a 25 minute police chase that finally ended in Scott County. Smith garnered a total of 15 charges, including felony evading arrest, theft over $10,000, child endangerment, possession of drugs, among others. The car Smith was driving was allegedly stolen out of La Follette, according to Caryville Police Chief Freddie Stagnolia.

While on patrol on Christmas at around 10pm, “Caryville Officer James Coffey noticed a dark colored vehicle turn its headlights and tail lights out while traveling on Pearl Street.”

When officer Coffey turned on his emergency lights and equipment to initiate a traffic stop, the dark blue or black Nissan Sentra continued to travel without lights, driving through a residential area, “traveling through driveways and yards in that area,” Stagnolia said.

According to the report, the vehicle turned down Tennessee Street, and then onto Old Highway 63 refusing to stop; officer Coffey continued his pursuit. After traveling up Old Highway 63, the vehicle turned left towards Scott County on Howard Baker Highway. According to Chief Stagnolia it was around this time that the Sheriff’s department also responded to the chase.

Smith crossed into Scott County and around this time, his vehicle struck one of the Caryville Police cruisers. Chief Stagnolia said he believed one of the county’s vehicles was also damaged at the same time. However, no injuries were reported. 

The chase ended on Straight Fork Road in Scott County at 10:25 pm. According to the Caryville police report, Smith “hit a patch of ice on Straight Fork Bridge and slid his vehicle into an embankment.”

After a short foot pursuit, Smith was taken into custody. According to the police report, there were two female passengers in the vehicle with Smith. “The adult female was wanted on warrants out of Scott County and was taken into custody by Scott County authorities. The juvenile female was released into the custody of her guardians,” Stagnolia said.

Smith was searched at the scene and found to be in possession of a substance believed to be methamphetamine. He was arrested and transported to the Campbell County Jail. He was charged with reckless driving, violation of the light law, felony evading arrest, theft over $10,000, felony reckless endangerment, aggravated assault, child endangerment, false imprisonment, third offense driving on a revoked license, speeding, violation of a traffic control device, two counts violation of the registration law, violation of the TN financial law and possession of a controlled substance. 

Smith, 32, of 500 East Chestnut Street, La Follette is scheduled for arraignment at the Campbell County Courthouse on December 27.

The Caryville Police Department, the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department, Scott County Sheriff’s Department and the Tennessee Highway Patrol responded to the call. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/26/2022-6:30PM)