FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WKRN) — A career criminal with a history of multiple violent arrests is back behind bars in Franklin.
According to Metro court records, Benjamin Mangrum is an ex-con who has been in and out of jail for more than 20 years.
On Tuesday, he led Williamson County deputies on a high-speed chase, and investigators say he did so with no regard for the four-year-old child in the back seat of his getaway car.
According to investigators, it began around 1:30 p.m. on I-65 North. That’s where Mangrum was driving a Mustang with a woman in the passenger seat and Justin Nelson in the back seat.
A deputy noticed the vehicle traveling erratically and pulled the car over as it entered I-840 westbound.
As the deputy approached the driver’s side window, the driver, Mangrum, punched it and took off.
The car quickly entered heavy traffic on Columbia Avenue.
Because of the danger to other motorists, deputies canceled the pursuit but saturated the area looking for the car.
After some time, deputies found the Mustang. Mangrum and Nelson had run away from the vehicle.
The woman, who owns the car, told officers she was trying to make Mangrum stop for the safety of her child in the back seat. Deputies checked on the four-year-old child in the car and she was unharmed. The woman was not charged.
“The mom said she tried to get the driver to stop several times, concerned for the safety of her daughter and herself,” Lt. Chris Mobley said. “His only concern was trying to get away from police.”
Deputies quickly found the back-seat passenger, Nelson, hiding behind a trailer.
He told deputies he got out of rehab that morning.
Deputies asked the 30-year-old man why he ran and didn’t just stay with the woman in the car.
Deputy: “Why would you not sit in the car?”
Nelson: “I don’t know, because I have an FTA (failure to appear warrant).”
Deputy: “Congrats. Now, you have another.”
Deputies then broadcasted a reverse 911 that sent Mangrum’s description to residents in the area. Soon, deputies got a call and set up a perimeter.
By 4:30 p.m., a dirty Mangrum emerged from the wood line. His pants and shirt were cut and he had scratches on his skin.
Deputies put him on the ground and in cuffs.
“Yes, he has quite a criminal history. He had warrants out of Columbia for more felonies,” Lt. Mobley added.
Mangrum is facing charges of felony evading, reckless endangerment and child abuse. His bond is set at $95,000.
Investigators say he has outstanding felony warrants out of Columbia.
According to TDOC officials, Mangrum only served one year of a four-year sentence for aggravated assault and smuggling contraband into a penal institution. He got three years of probation, which has now been violated.