NOLENSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A suspect in a Murfreesboro car theft made the mistake of speeding through Nolensville this weekend, driving 60 mph in a 30 mph zone as he passed an officer.
According to Assistant Chief Michael Terns with the Nolensville Police Department, his officers encountered John Tinsley, 24, of Antioch, around 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30.
Police said they chased after Tinsley, but because of the dangerous speeds at which he was driving, they halted the pursuit.
Later on, witnesses told authorities that Tinsley entered a sub division. An officer spoke with one female motorist who claimed that Tinsley almost crashed into her parked car:
Officer: “Where’d they go?”
Woman: “They went this way.”
Officer: “That vehicle was flying!”
Woman: “Oh yes, they were going like 70, and I was like, ‘Oh my goodness!'”
Terns told News 2 there are only three ways in and out of the subdivision, so officers sealed off all exit points and waited.
“If he’s going in there, he’s got to come out at some point in time,” Terns said.
It wasn’t long before Tinsley emerged from the darkness, speeding toward an officer’s squad car.
“It’s not a very well-lighted area and [he] almost hit our officer head-on with no lights on,” Terns explained.
Tinsley sped away from the subdivision and down Newsome Road, which comes to a dead end at Rocky Fork Road.
The 24-year-old suspect blew through the stop sign, but he failed to handle the turn, so his car flew off the roadway, sailing 50 feet through the air and landing 10 feet below the road in a grassy area, where the front end of the car smashed into a tree.
“He actually did ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ off the roadway,” Terns told News 2.
Body camera footage captured Nolensville officers arriving at the scene of the crash, guns drawn, and ordering Tinsley to show them his hands and get on the ground. Tinsley stumbled out of the smoldering car, dropped to his knees, crawled a few feet, and stopped before he was quickly taken into custody.
“Hey, get him up here,” an officer said. “The car’s on fire.”
While some officers moved the suspected thief to a safer location, others grabbed their fire extinguishers and fought the flames in the engine compartment.
Before going to jail, authorities said Tinsley admitted he stole the car in Murfreesboro.
“You don’t come to Nolensville and create problems or crimes,” Terns said. “We’re going to come get you. We’re going to take you into custody.”
Tinsley faces a variety of felony charges in Williamson County, including aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and evading arrest. He is also charged in Murfreesboro as it relates to the stolen car.
News 2 checked with Metro officials and discovered Tinsley has a history of theft, as well as domestic assault.