WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Tense moments were caught on camera during a chase that started in Williamson County and ended with guns drawn and a young man being taken into custody.
What began as a minor traffic stop on Hillsboro Road in the Grassland area took a turn after 21-year-old Curtis Fletcher reportedly hit a Williamson County Sheriff’s Office car and two other vehicles on Friday, Sept. 8.
News 2 spoke with Toby Lemley, who said Fletcher collided with him head-on.
“When I come around that curve and there he was. I mean, it just happened in a split second. The window was shattered; both sides of my truck, the air bags had came out,” Lemley explained, adding that the experience was terrifying.
Lemley was left shaken after the crash, but at the time, he said he didn’t know he’d just stopped the Toyota Camry that was leading law enforcement on a pursuit.
Officials said Fletcher violated the Hands Free Law, which was the reason for the traffic stop, but he fled the scene and struck a deputy’s vehicle in the process, sparking the chase.
“He hit me, he hit me…. He’s hit my car,” a deputy can be heard saying in the body camera footage.
Tense moments were recorded by law enforcement throughout the pursuit, including the Toyota weaving in and out of traffic, narrowly missing a number of cars, and driving the wrong way through the bank and off the road. Authorities said they eventually ended the pursuit because of safety concerns.
“My truck caused him to stop,” Lemley stated.
The Metro Nashville Police Department and its Aviation Unit reportedly found the Toyota after Fletcher crashed on McCrory Lane and ran off.
“Had a lot of different undercover cops and stuff, and then there was a helicopter above, and it was just really so surreal that, ‘What was going on? Where is this guy?’ Next thing I know, I found out he was in the woods, running,” Lemley recalled.
Once deputies arrived at the scene of the wreck, a K-9 unit tracked down Fletcher, who was allegedly trying to escape through a nearby river.
In the bodycam video, you can see deputies wading through the water with guns pointed at Fletcher, with one saying, “Put your hands on your head. Don’t move”
Authorities said they arrested Fletcher without further incident.
Even though Lemley was left with a totaled car and some minor injuries, he said he is counting his blessings that the chase didn’t end much worse.
“I keep reliving it over in my head, like, ‘Wow I’m really blessed and very happy that nothing worse happened to me,” he told News 2. “I mean, my hand was pretty swollen, and I did go get it checked at the ER, and really just, it just could’ve been a lot worse, Stephanie. I mean, I’m thankful I’m okay, I’m glad that the guy who was running is okay, you know, I just pray for his situation and what was going on with him.”
“I just think God was looking out for both of us that day because it could have been way worse for him, and he’s going to have to deal with his consequences, but the Lord was definitely looking out for both of us because we both could have been seriously injured if not killed,” Lemley added.
Meanwhile, Fletcher faces a long list of charges, including felony evading arrest, reckless endangerment, aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer, and drug charges, officials said.