FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WKRN) — Chase or don’t chase? It’s one of the biggest questions modern-day law enforcement agencies face today.
The risk/reward of catching a suspect while possibly putting innocent civilians in danger weighs heavily on most department’s minds.
That was the case Monday, August 8, in Williamson County.
The calls began flowing into 911 around 1:46 p.m. about a white car swerving into other lanes of traffic in the Grassland community. Some of the callers reported the driver appeared to be falling asleep at the wheel.
The calls continued some 25 minutes later. This time, the car, that was being driven by Carrie Rocco, was spotted south of Franklin on Mack Hatcher Memorial Parkway and Columbia Boulevard.
A short time later, Williamson County Sheriff’s Office patrol units found the 46-year-old and attempted to pull the Mt. Juliet woman over.
“The driver-side mirror was hanging off, suggesting she hit something,” said WCSO Lt. Chris Mobley.
When lawmen tried to pull her over at I-840, the 46-year-old drove through a ditch, then onto the interstate heading west.
Dashcam video shows her driving dangerously along the side of the interstate, coming close to hitting other cars that pulled over for the blue lights.
At the top of the ramp on Columbia Pike, deputies were forced to make an aggressive decision. If the car turned to the right and went north, it would quickly enter a school zone with school traffic.
If the car turned left and went south, it would come across a construction zone with workers on the side of the road.
That is when deputies and supervisors made the decision to box the driver in and try and force her to stop.
Lt. Mobley said it’s a tricky maneuver and it’s easier to perform where the road is widest. Deputies knew the farther south they headed toward Spring Hill, Columbia Pike narrows quickly, and this would make surrounding the alleged DUI driver more difficult.
Deputies raced ahead of Rocco and to the sides, forcing her to slow down.
Eventually, Rocco pulled over, but her car was still in gear. She moved backward, making contact with a patrol car. It’s at that point that officers exited, guns drawn, and physically pulled the Mt. Juliet woman from the driver’s seat.
She was handcuffed and the car turned off.
As deputies approached, they could be heard telling her to stop the car, to which she replies, “not today.”
Cordan: “I know you guys are normally pretty conservative when you chase.”
Cordan: “I heard a lot of (radio traffic) what are the weather conditions, how fast are you going, what’s the traffic like? I heard a lot of communication when all of that perceived chaos was ensuing?”
Mobley: “Yes, during the pursuit, there is that constant reevaluation of the circumstances, how they are changing, and the risk-reward type analysis being done by the supervisors and the officers involved in it. Her impaired level indicated she was not even aware of how bad she was driving. So, to allow her to keep driving would continue to put herself and others at risk. So, it was one where we really had to find an opportunity to shut it down before that happened.”
According to investigators, Rocco admitted to drinking vodka. She also reportedly told paramedics she thought she was in Mt. Juliet.
Rocco was taken to an area hospital. Upon her release, she will be charged with multiple felonies, including DUI.
According to WCSO, Rocco was arrested last summer and charged with simple possession and DUI.