Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Suspect Who Dragged Mt. Pleasant Officer Apprehended

   A Summertown resident who allegedly dragged a Mt. Pleasant Police Officer while fleeing the scene of a traffic stop early Saturday morning, was apprehended after leading authorities on a three county chase.

   Mt. Pleasant Police Chief Tommy Goetz indicates that the incident started when Officer Brian Bedsworth, a former Lawrence County Sheriff’s Deputy, initiated a traffic stop on a driver for speeding. While conducting the stop, Goetz indicates that Bedsworth learned the driver of the white Ford Focus, Eddie Eugene Roberts of 80 Highway 20, Summertown, was unable to produce any sort of identification. At that point Roberts allegedly began to flee the scene, trapping Bedsworth between the door and the car and dragging him a short distance. As Roberts fled, Bedsworth was able to fire upon the vehicle.

   A “Be On the Look Out” alert was quickly issued for the surrounding areas, and Lawrence County Sheriff’s Deputies made their way to two addresses listed for Roberts, to determine whether he had gone home.

   Deputy Brian Thomason reports that he drove past Roberts’ Highway 20 residence, then turned around. As he once again approached the home, he reports a vehicle pulled into the driveway. He quickly pulled in behind the vehicle, exited his patrol unit, and drew his weapon. He indicates he ordered Roberts to stop, but that he, “looked at me, turned and walked into the house.”

   Thomason reports that Roberts walked to a rear bedroom and shut the door. A short time later he exited, walked back through the home, and opened a window. When Thomason again ordered him to “put his hands up,” he indicates that “Roberts just smirked and shut the window back.” Roberts then reportedly walked back outside, got into his vehicle and left.

   Several Lawrence County Deputies gave pursuit, following Roberts along Highway 20 into Maury County. They indicate that he wrecked around the Mt. Pleasant Quik Mart, then turned around and headed west on Highway 20 with his headlights off. They indicate that while traveling without his headlights Roberts swerved into the path of an oncoming patrol car. The deputy indicates he swerved and was barely able to avoid a head-on collision.

   Reports show that Roberts continued to travel the area, turning onto several streets before returning to Highway 20. Deputies report that he was traveling at excessive speeds; sometimes with his headlights on, and sometimes off. He lead deputies into Lewis County for quite a distance before turning onto Swan Creek Road then Mt. Joy Road, heading back into Maury County.

   After entering Maury County, deputies report Maury County Deputies took the lead. When Roberts stopped along Mt. Joy Road, they report deputies attempted to push him into a ditch to stop him, but that he exited the ditch, striking Thomason’s patrol car. Maury County deputies then deployed spike strips. Roberts ran across the strips, puncturing his tires, however he continued to flee for a short distance.

   At that point, deputies report that Roberts lost control of his vehicle in a curve and crashed. He was then taken into custody by Maury County officers.

   Once Roberts had been apprehended deputies returned to his Highway 20 residence and obtained permission to conduct a search. They report finding a small amount of a substance believed to be marijuana, along with rolling papers.

   Roberts faces numerous charges from multiple agencies. Following his arrest Saturday morning he was transported to the Maury County Jail where he has since been held under a bond of $170,000. He had an initial court appearance in Maury County General Sessions Court on Monday.

   Authorities with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation are currently conducting an investigation into the discharge of Bedsworth’s weapon. The entire matter also remains under investigation by authorities with various other agencies.