A LaFollette man remains in custody in Blount County, after a chase on Sunday that started in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and ended when the suspect crashed.
Brian Keith Ivey, 38, of Lafollette, is charged with
reckless endangerment, aggravated assault, and felony evading arrest.
There are also federal charges pending against him.
According to park officials, a park ranger saw a man breaking into a vehicle parked at the Chimney Tops Trailhead on Newfound Gap Road around 10:50 am on Sunday. The ranger followed the man, who was driving a Ford F-150 pick-up truck. When rangers attempted to stop the vehicle on Little River Road, west of the Sugarlands Visitor Center, the suspect fled, with rangers in pursuit.
The suspect left the park at the Townsend Wye, where Blount County Sheriff's Office deputies took over the chase at around 11:20 am.
Sheriff James Berrong said Ivey was driving at around 90 mph at times, and while the chase was terminated at one point, he made the decision to try to stop Ivey because of the danger he represented to the public. At one point, Maryville Police officers witnessed Ivey almost running over two pedestrians as he drove recklessly through town.
The pursuit continued through Maryville and part of Alcoa, where Ivey rammed the front of a deputy's cruiser on the U.S. 129 Bypass at Louisville Road. The deputy was not injured.
Ivey then traveled south on the U.S. 129 Bypass, west on U.S. Highway 321 West, then south onto William Blount Drive and west onto Big Springs Road. Ivey turned onto a private gravel drive, and the pursuit ended when he crashed his vehicle in a field on Big Springs Road. Ivey was not injured.
A man has been taken into county after officers said he led them on a pursuit through Blount County Sunday.
The suspect led police on a chase through Townsend, Maryville, Alcoa, and other areas of Blount County before crashing in a private wooded area off of Big Springs Road.
Marian O'Briant, the Public Information Officer for Blount County, said the man crashed into trees but was not hurt.
The National Park Service is involved in the investigation.
Dispatchers said the wreck started a small fire but police officers were able to put it out.
More details are expected later today, including charges the suspect could face.