NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A teenager was taken into custody Sunday after reportedly leading police on a pursuit in a stolen car and driving into oncoming traffic.
Officers with the Metro Nashville Police Department were patrolling the area of Westchester Drive and Cone Boulevard when at about 6:21 p.m. they saw a man approach a white Mercury Grand Marquis, then walk away once he saw them, according to an affidavit.
Police said the area is known for various criminal activity including stolen cars, shootings and home invasions. Officers inspected the tag of the Mercury as they drove past, and according to the affidavit, the search showed the tag belonged to a different car.
A man, later identified as 18-year-old Phil Owes, got into the car and pulled out of the neighborhood heading south on Brick Church Pike, police reported. Officers caught up to the car near Moorewood Drive and Creekwood Drive.
After police tried to stop the car, Owes reportedly sped off through a residential neighborhood with pedestrians present. Authorities said he “drove recklessly” through the area and later turned into oncoming traffic, forcing other cars to swerve out of the way.
Officers decided to terminate the pursuit out of “fear (for) the public’s safety,” the affidavit said. As they drove back toward where they originally spotted the Mercury, police said they were stopped by multiple residents who said they were almost hit by the “fast-moving vehicle.”
Once back in the area, police reportedly saw the Mercury parked where they had first seen it. However, this time it was unoccupied. Police conducted a state records search of the car’s VIN, and according to the affidavit, it showed the car was stolen out of Clarksville.
As officers were conducting their investigation, an unknown SUV parked directly behind their police car. Officers questioned the driver, and she reportedly told them a “friend had just called and asked her to pick them up.”
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Police ordered Owes to come out of the house, and after 10 minutes he was arrested. According to the affidavit, Owes told police he bought the car from his uncle and assumed it may have been stolen after another police interaction earlier in the week.
Authorities believe Owes disposed of the car keys to avoid being linked to the stolen car. He is now facing charges for reckless driving, evading arrest, tampering with evidence, unlawful removal of plate and theft of a vehicle greater than $2,500 but less than $10,000.
He was booked into jail on Sunday and was still behind bars a day later with a $7,000 bond.