Suspect in Collegedale high-speed chase identified, faces several charges, including aggravated kidnapping

Suspect in Collegedale high-speed chase identified, faces several charges, including aggravated kidnapping

January 16th, 2019 by Rosana Hughes in Breaking News

This story was updated Jan. 16, 2019, at 7:38 p.m.

David Lee Stevens IV

David Lee Stevens IV

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Collegedale, Tennessee police have identified the suspect in a high-speed chase Tuesday afternoon as David Lee Stevens IV.

Stevens, 25, is facing several charges, including aggravated kidnapping, after leading Collegedale police on a high-speed chase into Chattanooga, dragging his passenger over pavement and disrupting traffic near the Volkswagen plant and airport before getting out of his vehicle.

The passenger was taken to a local hospital for treatment, but his condition is not known.

Police first noticed the vehicle in the Circle K gas station parking lot at 5020 Little Debbie Parkway, according to an incident narrative. It had an illegally dark-tinted license plate cover and a broken-out window covered by a trash bag.

While following the vehicle to run the license plate number, police saw the driver run a stop sign. Stevens pulled over, but as officers were approaching the vehicle, he drove away toward Old Lee Highway.

When officers learned the vehicle had been stolen from Chattanooga, they began the pursuit, at times reaching up to 90 mph in a 40 mph zone. Stevens got onto southbound Interstate 75 before exiting at exit 9 and turning toward Volkswagen Drive.

There, Stevens slowed down and his passenger tried to jump out of the vehicle, but before the passenger could get fully out, Stevens took off again, causing the passenger to get tangled up in the seat belt. The man was dragged behind the vehicle, hitting his head on the tire. He rolled a few times before being untangled and rolling to the side of the road, the report states.

He was initially taken into custody before being taken to the hospital, but when questioned he was released without charges.

During the pursuit, the passenger said, he told Stevens multiple times to let him out and even pulled the emergency brake a few times in hopes of slowing him down.

Police said the passenger complained of arm, wrist, neck, head and back pain and had road rash from his legs up to his back from being dragged.

Meanwhile, Stevens was still on the run.

When he reached the intersection of Volkswagen Drive and Bonny Oaks, he "squeezed between a vehicle and a box truck," striking and side-swiping the left side of a 2008 Dodge Charger.

The driver of the Charger and her son told police they were not injured, but were "shaken up and scared."

Stevens didn't stop.

He turned onto Hickory Valley Road, where police say he darted in and out of traffic before turning onto Lee Highway, then onto Highway 153 and, eventually, Airport Road.

Stevens then went the wrong way up the airport entry ramp, forcing three vehicles to the shoulder.

He eventually got back onto the right side of the ramp and then ended up driving back over the Highway 153 bridge and onto Shepherd Road, where he ran the vehicle off the road just before the entrance to the Highlands Memorial Gardens Cemetery.

Stevens then exited the vehicle and ran into the woods between Shepherd Road and West Shepherd Road toward the back parking lot of the Coca-Cola plant.

By that point, the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office and Chattanooga police had joined the chase and surrounded the area.

Stevens was pushed out of the woods across from Arlene Circle by an officer and his K-9, but he continued to run before being cornered and taken into custody near Olan Mills Drive.

Inside the stolen vehicle, officers found a wallet with three debit cards all belonging to different individuals and businesses. On Stevens, officers found multiple documents and IDs and at least one check that did not appear to belong to him.

At least one of the documents and cards was determined to belong to a deceased person.

Stevens refused to identify himself, so police had to fingerprint him as a John Doe and submit his prints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation database.

Once identified, police learned Stevens had multiple warrants in Hamilton County, including one for evading arrest.

He was taken to the Hamilton County Jail and charged with aggravated kidnapping, evading arrest by vehicle and evading arrest on foot, reckless endangerment, reckless driving, three counts of aggravated assault, theft over $1,000, theft under $1,000, license required, improper display of a registration plate, stop sign violation and speeding.

His bond was set at $205,000. He has an extensive arrest history in Hamilton County dating back to 2012. Several charges include evading arrest or being a fugitive for a crime in another state.

Contact staff writer Rosana Hughes at rhughes@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6327 with tips or story ideas. Follow her on Twitter @Hughes Rosana.


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