WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — It’s not always obvious to the public, but when law enforcement agencies chase a suspect, many factors are being considered continuously as the chase progresses.
That was the case Tuesday morning in Williamson County, as deputies stopped a reckless speeder on Carter’s Creek Pike, who then took off dangerously.
“Apparently this driver had no concern for his own safety, the deputy’s safety or the motoring public’s safety,” Sheriff Dusty Rhoades said.
It all began when Deputy Jim Zahn stopped a man the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office identified as 23-year-old Jordan Watkins, clocked going 103 miles per hour on Carter’s Creek Pike.
“You know, if you crash that fast, it’s all over with,” said Sheriff Rhoades.
Before the deputy can even get to the driver’s window, Watkins reportedly punches the gas and the chase is on.
Dashcam shows the harrowing chase for the next six miles north towards Franklin.
Authorities said Watkins drove erratically on the two-lane country road with speeds reaching over 100 miles per hour multiple times.
Dashcam shows the driver traveling across the double yellow line, passing motorists dangerously, and even tearing through a construction zone, forcing a worker to scramble to safety.
Throughout the more than five-minute chase, the deputy repeatedly talks to supervisors reporting his speed and location.
“Of course, all of our pursuits are strictly monitored, we look at road conditions, weather conditions, and traffic patterns,” said Sheriff Rhoades.
Once inside the Franklin city limits, the traffic increased dramatically. Sheriff Rhoades said 20 years ago that he might have continued the chase, but now with the heavy congestion of motorists and pedestrians, it’s too dangerous.
As the chase neared Downs Boulevard, the deputy discontinues the pursuit and the bad guy raced through the red light almost hitting a car in the intersection.
“It’s just too risky. We had to shut it down,” said Sheriff Rhoades, adding, “If we had information that this guy
was a convicted felon for a violent crime it might have been a different ball game. But all we had on him was a traffic violation.”
Deputies reportedly found Watkins’ 2010 Ford Fusion a few blocks away on Natchez and 9th Street in Franklin, but the 23-year-old was not there.
After getting a warrant, deputies searched the vehicle and inside the glove box and found a 50 round magazine and five bullets.
“It’s not worth it getting a deputy killed or the motoring public or a pedestrian killed,” Sheriff Rhoades says.
And to Watkins, the sheriff has this message: “Your day is coming. We’ll get you.”
Jordan Watkins went from a speeding ticket to a number of felonies including felony evading and reckless endangerment. If you know the whereabouts of Watkins, you are urged to contact the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office at (615) 790-5560.
Sheriff’s records indicate the young suspect has priors for evading arrest, assault, and DUI.