A 20-year-old and a 17-year-old, both from Jackson, Tennessee, led Tennessee state troopers on a chase Wednesday in a reportedly stolen Rolls-Royce that reached speeds of up to 177 mph in a chase along Interstate 24 near the Tennessee-Georgia state line.
Tennessee Highway Patrol Sgt. David McVey spotted the 2016 Rolls-Royce — reported by the Georgia Highway Patrol to be stolen out of Atlanta — racing along westbound I-24 at 177 mph, according to a statement from THP spokesperson Bill Miller.
As the Rolls-Royce passed a 1984 Porsche 944, the driver of the Rolls moved to cause the driver of the Porsche to rear-end the Rolls, and the two vehicles pulled off the roadway around mile marker 127 in Grundy County, Tennessee, Miller said.
That's where THP said the two men got out of the Rolls-Royce and "attempted to physically remove or carjack the driver of the Porsche," according to Miller. During the altercation, a pistol was shown by one of the suspects, Miller said.
McVey pulled in behind the vehicles, where he saw one man with his clothing partially torn yelling for help. Miller said McVey brought the Porsche driver to safety behind his patrol car.
McVey then apprehended both suspects and recovered a loaded Glock 9-mm pistol that had been dropped in the Porsche during the altercation, Miller said.
The driver, Tyler O. Long, and the 17-year-old were booked at the Grundy County Jail in Altamont. Grundy County Sheriff Clint Shrum said Thursday that his department had no charges involved in the chase but the jail is holding Long for the state agency.
According to THP, Long is charged with theft over $60,000 in connection with the theft of the Rolls-Royce. Officials at the Grundy County jail said Long is also charged with another count of theft, aggravated assault and carjacking. Grundy County jail officials couldn't say whether a bond had been set.
According to Edmunds' website on vehicle values, most 2016 models of Rolls-Royce can cost more than $100,000 as a used vehicle. Miller couldn't say what model the Rolls-Royce is, although it appears from photographs to be the Wraith model which can have a V-12 engine that produces as much as 600 horsepower or more.
"We are so thankful for the high level of partnership that the THP has with the Georgia Department of Public Safety and all of our federal, state and local partners," THP Colonel Matt Perry said in the statement.
"If not for the swift action of Sgt. McVey, the outcome of this incident could've been tragically different," Capt. Timothy Spicer said, echoing praise for the troopers' actions.
Contact Ben Benton at email@example.com or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton or at www.facebook.com/benbenton1.