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KPD: Officer suffers serious injuries after man drives and crashes car with officer inside

Police said they stopped a car Sunday on Clinton Highway and noticed the smell of marijuana from it. The man then tried to escape police with an officer in the car.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Knoxville Police Department said officers took a Detroit man into custody after he tried to drive away from police with an officer still in the car.

On Sunday, KPD said officers stopped a car at a gas station on Clinton Highway. They said they smelled marijuana coming from the car and asked the driver to step outside.

Michael Harris, 35, stepped out to let the police search his car. He later got back into the driver's seat of the car, even as police fired Tasers at him, and drove off. While in the car, the officer tried to subdue Harris and take control of the car.

They said a struggle ensued and crashed near Pleasant Ridge Road. He then ran from the car and was caught later by Knox County Sheriff's Office deputies, according to a release from officials.

KPD said the officer inside the car, Sgt. Michael Geddings was seriously injured and was taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in an ambulance. They said he had a broken arm and a severe laceration to the head, among other cuts and bruises.

However, they said he has since been released from the hospital and "is in good spirits."

Inside the car, they said they found 929.6 grams of methamphetamine, around 15 grams of marijuana, around 2.4 grams of suspect heroin, several guns, accessories, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and $7,107 in cash. Two other cars were involved in the crash and a total of five people were taken to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

During an interview with police after his arrest, authorities said Harris admitted be associated with a Blood street gang in Detroit.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said they were working to find people illegally buying guns at the RK Gun Show on April 24. They said they were looking for vendors selling guns without a Federal Firearms License and people making "straw purchases," or buying guns for another person.

During the show, they said they saw a man wearing red colors use Facetime while walking around the gun show, showing guns and accessories to a person on the phone.

Authorities said they followed him into the parking lot of the Knoxville Expo Center and said they saw him load guns and accessories into the back of a red Chrysler minivan with a Florida license plate. After running the plate, they learned it was a rental car. They also said he had to make several trips to the car because of the number of guns he bought.

A woman was also in the passenger seat of the car. They said the car stopped by a fast-food restaurant on Clinton Highway before improperly changing lanes, turning left in a "straight only" lane. Deputies told KPD about the location of the minivan after later finding it parked in a gas station.

Harris was charged in federal court Tuesday, according to a release from officials. He will appear for a preliminary hearing on May 5.

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