Suspected heroin dealer slams into police cars during high-speed chase

Crime Tracker

CHEATHAM COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Cheatham County man, who was being investigated for selling heroin, is behind bars after a high-speed chase where he allegedly slammed into multiple sheriff’s cars.

The drug suspect was ultimately arrested in a dramatic felony takedown on the side of the interstate.

It all happened this past Friday night. Drug Agents were looking for Joseph Johnson, who was a suspect in a drug overdose where a person almost died from heroin.

Drug agents found the 36-year-old in a parking lot and tried to arrest him. Instead, Johnson took off and drove across Cheatham and parts of Robertson Counties.

At one point, dashcam showed Johnson driving his Ford F-150 in the breakdown lane. He drove to the right of parked semi-trucks trying to get onto I-24.

Closely in pursuit was Lt. Shannon Heflin, who tried driving between two semi-trucks. When he gets past the big rigs, Johnson’s vehicle hits the law officer’s back bumper and spins him into the breakdown lane.

“The way we looked at it, Mr. Johnson was a threat to society,” said Lt. Helfin.

By this time, drug officer Jacob Kent catches up to the pickup truck which is weaving in and out of traffic at 80 mph.

The narcotics officer tries to intercept the pickup, but video showed Johnson slamming into the deputy’s SUV.

You can hear the officer say, “He rammed me!”

The impact slingshot the pick up into the median where Johnson crossed to the other lane of I-24.

The chase continued as Johnson got on I-24 in the other direction. Again there was contact as Johnson slammed into the side of Kent for a second time.

You can hear the narcotics officer say, “He just hit me. He just hit me. He just hit me again.”

Finally, after many dangerous miles, Joseph Johnson pulled over.

Multiple sheriff’s vehicles surrounded the suspect. As officers got out of their vehicles with guns drawn, you can see Johnson smash into the deputy’s car yet again. You can see Johnson back up and put the car in gear and the officers, after many warnings to surrender, open fire.

Multiple bullets struck the pickup truck’s windshield, but none struck the offender, who surrendered without further incident.

“Mr. Johnson was using his vehicle as a deadly weapon. Mr. Johnson never did say why he did what he did,” said Lt. Helfin.

News 2 caught up with the suspect Tuesday to see if he would say anything in his defense.

“I don’t know nothing,” said Johnson.

Joe Johnson is facing a slew of felonies with more to come. The incident is being investigated by the Cheatham County sheriff’s Department and the Robertson County Sheriff’s Department.

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