Man faces 20 charges after police chase

Man faces 20 charges after police chase

September 16th, 2017 by Staff Report in Local Regional News
Billy Joseph Bryant

Billy Joseph Bryant

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

A Chattanooga man is facing 20 separate charges after leading police on a high-speed car chase through Soddy-Daisy on Thursday.

A Hamilton County sheriff's deputy first spotted the suspect vehicle, a blue Chevrolet Suburban, traveling north on the 1400 block of Highway 27, according to court documents.

The car's registration appeared to be expired, and the vehicle tag was for a 2000 Ford, so the deputy attempted to stop the driver on the Thrasher Pike off-ramp. Instead of stopping, the driver sped up, ran the stop sign and turned left.

The suspect, identified as 39-year-old Billy Joseph Bryant, drove down Thrasher Pike in the left-hand lane, failed to stop at a red light at Dayton Pike and continued onto Springfield Road. He then turned into the parking lot of Mile Straight Baptist Church before running a stop sign and turning onto Dayton Pike, speeding to 90 mph, records state.

The driver sped through another red light at the intersection of Dayton Pike and Harrison Lane, turned onto Sequoyah Road and tried to take the northbound ramp onto Highway 27, but drove off the road and through a fence on the 9900 block of Miller Road.

Continuing onto the property, the suspect started driving in circles. The pursuing deputy saw the car had two occupants. The car finally stopped and the passenger door opened, prompting deputies to command the passenger to get out. She was detained without incident.

After a search of the area, Bryant was found in nearby woods, and he was taken into custody.

Deputies found a small bag of what appeared to be crystal methamphetamine near where Bryant was found, according to records. Inside the car, they found a hypodermic needle, multiple insulin needles and a Coca-Cola can with burnt, white residue.

The female passenger said she had recently gotten out of jail in Georgia and just met Bryant.

Police released her.

Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond complimented the deputies' actions, saying they work every day to keep the community safe.

"This incident is a prime example of how a typical, routine traffic stop can force our deputies into a life- threatening situation where not only is their safety compromised, but that of our citizens as well," he said in an emailed statement. "I am thankful the driver was able to be taken safely into custody without causing any further injury to law enforcement personnel or innocent motorists."

Bryant faces charges of evading arrest, possessing a firearm with intent to go armed, possession of meth and reckless endangerment, among other things.

His next court appearance is scheduled for Monday before Hamilton County General Sessions Judge Christine Sell.