ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

This story was updated on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, with more information.

A suspect is in custody after a high-speed pursuit by a rookie Collegedale, Tennessee, police officer early Saturday morning.

Field training officer Burlon Hayworth, who was also in the pursuing patrol vehicle, spotted a grey Chevrolet Malibu just after midnight in the Walmart parking lot at 5588 Little Debbie Parkway, according to an arrest report. The car was being driven by a man, later identified as 46-year-old Denis Collins II, "who noticed my patrol unit and seem [sic] to leave the lot in a quick manner."

So Hayworth instructed the driver, rookie officer Corey McNeal, to follow the vehicle so he could run the license plate through Tennessee's criminal justice database, the report states. The license plate turned out to belong to a Jeep and was registered to an owner whose driver's license was suspended.

some text Denis Collins II / Hamilton County Jail

By then, Collins had pulled into a nearby Taco Bell drive-through and placed his order. After that, Hayworth told McNeal to initiate a traffic stop, the arrest report states.

But Collins didn't stop and fled onto Lee Highway at a "high rate of speed" toward Interstate 75 South, according to the report. On the interstate, the pursuit reached speeds in excess of 100 mph before Collins exited onto Bonny Oaks Drive toward Hickory Valley Road.

After a series of turns, Collins eventually crashed into a flower bed near the 2800 block of Anderson Terrace, the report states. He then got out of the vehicle and ran before police apprehended him.

A passenger in the vehicle told police he asked Collins to stop and let him out multiple times but Collins refused, according to the report.

Collins was found to have an active federal warrant for a narcotics violation, the report states. He also had warrants in Bradley and Rhea counties for drug-related charges, violation of probation and driving on a suspended license.

He was taken to the Collegedale Police Department and booked on multiple charges, including evading arrest, kidnapping, unlawful removal of a registration plate and other traffic offenses.

After booking, Collins was taken to the Hamilton County Jail until a bond hearing could be held.

Hayworth has been reviewed for seven pursuits since he was hired as a police officer in January 2015, according to his disciplinary file.

Of those, three were found to be within policy, two of which did not have any body or dash camera footage of the incidents because the devices were either turned off or not working. In fact, one reviewing supervisor noted that "there [was] not sufficient information available to provide an accurate conclusion." The third pursuit resulted in the July death of 32-year-old Randy GoForth.

some text Eduardo Lacayo / Hamilton County Jail

Two more pursuits were found to be against policy. Another two are still pending review, the oldest of which dates back to February 2018.

Saturday's arrest marks the second federal fugitive Collegedale police have arrested in the last two weeks, according to a department Facebook post.

On Oct. 8, police arrested Eduardo Lacayo, 30, after a traffic stop — again, in the Collegedale Walmart's parking lot — for a burned-out tag light.

That officer, Brian Desmond, saw Lacayo, whom he recognized, and another man walk into the store.

When they came out, Desmond got behind their vehicle as they left the parking lot and pulled them over when he noticed the tag light was out, according to an arrest report.

Lacayo is reportedly known by Collegedale police as an associate of a gang and was found to have federal warrants for weapons charges in Washington, D.C., according to the report.

Several Hamilton County deputies responded for backup, and a Soddy-Daisy K9 unit was called out to check the vehicle, the report states. The dog indicated the presence of drugs, but none were found.

Lacayo was taken to the Hamilton County Jail to await extradition to Washington, D.C., by federal law enforcement.

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

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT