Officials: Runaways go on Sumner County crime spree


SUMNER COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Sumner County homeowner pulls his pistol on a teenage thief who would later lead area law officers on a high-speed chase.

It all ended around 2:30 PM Tuesday at the corner of Green Lea Boulevard and Nashville Pike in Gallatin.

It’s here that Sumner Law Officers took 2 teenagers into custody at gunpoint.

The Teens are accused of running away from a DCS facility in Nashville, stealing a Ford Fusion in Nashville, then traveling to Sumner County and breaking into multiple cars.

One of those homes in the Lori Lee Estates Community belongs to Jason Ashworth. The 41-year-old husband and father of 2 tells News 2, he was home Tuesday around 2 p.m. when a young man approached his carport.

Ashworth was working on some equipment around the side of the house and the teenager didn’t initially see him outside working.

Ashworth says, “I’m thinking, who is this guy. I’ve never seen him before. He’s not from this neighborhood.

Ashworth says his trusty dog Lolly starts barking at the teenager who suddenly steals a gas can from his carport.

The 41-year-old is a long time carry permit holder & he says he pulls the revolver he wears on his hip… just in case.

Jason says, “I look over and tell him to drop it. He looks at me, he turns and takes off. I tell him to drop it again, stop. That’s when I pull my pistol out, he jumps in the car and takes off. I told the 911 operator, she asked did I fire my weapon, I said no, I’m a law-abiding citizen. I’m not going to shoot at someone over a gas can. I was just preparing myself in case they had a weapon to draw on me.”

Ashworth says he initially reported the incident as a burglary in progress at his home which stepped up the Deputy response.

It just so happens that a Sheriff’s Deputy driving an Animal Control Truck was in the neighborhood, heard the call, and circled back.

While making their getaway, the teens apparently hit the county truck, causing very little damage.

Investigators say the driver is 17 years old, a run-a-way from a DCS facility in Nashville.

Deputies scoured the area looking for him and finally reacquire the subject who is reportedly driving wildly, erratically, passing cars on the shoulder of the roadway.

Deputies get behind the stolen car which at one point is running over 100 mph.

As the teenager attempts to make the turn at Green Lea Blvd, he loses control, smashing into a Dodge Pick Up stopped at the red light in the Westbound Lane.

The collision demolishes the ford fusion. The teens get out and run as multiple law officers arrive.

Dash Cam from the end of the pursuit shows deputies, guns out, taking the young offenders down at gunpoint, without further incident.

Despite the high speeds and 2 vehicles struck, nobody is injured, including the 2 suspects.

Jason Ashworth says the incident was startling.

“I hope it doesn’t happen again,” he says with a smile.

After they are secured, a search of the car yields four stolen iPhones, a watch still in its box, and 10 grams of marijuana.

The teens were charged with felony evading, aggravated assault on a police officer, theft under $1,000, reckless endangerment vehicle burglary and simple possession.

According to the arrest report, the 17-year-old driver told the arresting officer, “that he saw the patrol vehicle and smashed on the gas. He also said the other teen was yelling at him NOT to stop because the 2 didn’t want to go to jail.

In a comical moment, he told the officer he was trying to get back to Nashville during the chase and he put Nashville into his GPS.

As to what happened when he struck the Animal Control Vehicle, the teen tells officers “he saw a marked Sumner County Patrol Vehicle with blue lights on so he ran through the patrol vehicle to getaway. “

Lieutenant Mike Guthrie of the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office says, “They were very fortunate nobody was seriously injured. We are also fortunate we took these guys into custody, took them off the streets and hopefully will make the streets safer for all of us.”

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