Dickson County man jumps into river to escape arrest

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CHEATHAM COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – Dickson County and Cheatham County authorities have an APB out for a chronic offender who investigators say walked away from a court-ordered drug treatment facility.

It all boiled over Saturday night when Corporal Michael D. Mealer pulled over 43-year-old Charlie Haskins for a traffic stop.

The Dickson County man’s Dodge Durango had a tail light out.

Haskins told the deputy he had a license, but he could not produce it. He admitted he had no insurance. He also had a questionable title to the 2000 Dodge.

According to Cheatham County records, Haskins’ D.L. was suspended in March of 2021 for failure to satisfy fines/costs in Dickson County.

The deputy also saw that Haskins had an active warrant out of Dickson for escape.

According to Sheriff Tim Eads, a judge mandated that Haskins go to a drug rehab facility. There is no security there. According to the sheriff, when Haskins walked away, without permission, he was in violation and considered an escapee.

As the deputy asked Haskins to exit the Dodge, Haskins put it in gear and took off. The deputy begins to follow on the windy country road where speeds at times reached 70 mph.

According to the report, Haskins took Petway Road heading to the Dickson County border.

That’s when the deputy says, Haskins drove down a driveway, rammed a gate and bailed from his Durango. He left the vehicle behind and in gear.

The deputy gives chase, but the weeds were thick and tall. The deputy then lost a visual on the escapee.

“He’s run to the river. I’ve lost visual,” Mealer said to dispatch.

Moments were tense as the suspect disappeared into the surroundings and the deputy, still alone at this point, carefully searched the periphery of the Harpeth River.

Body cam worn by the deputy showed other law officers pushing through the thick weeds, and even checking the river bank.

As the sun set, you can hear Deputy Mealer explain what is happening to the property owner.

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“We’ve got Dickson County bringing a K-9 and the THP is bringing a helicopter, and if he is in there, we’ll know in a minute. They said he was swimming to the Cheatham side. He is from White Bluff so he knows the area. If he swims straight across, he’ll have to swim back.”

In Dickson, Charlie Haskins is wanted for escape. In Cheatham County the suspect is wanted for driving on a suspended license, evading arrest (motor vehicle) evading arrest (foot) reckless endangerment as well as seat belt violation, light law violation and financial responsibility.

If you know the whereabouts of Charlie Haskins, call either the Dickson County Sheriff’s Office (615) 789-4130 or Cheatham County Sheriff’s Department (615) 792-4341.

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