A 33 year old Lebanon man is in custody but DeKalb and Wilson County authorities have been unable to find a second person following this morning's high speed pursuit which ended after the suspects ran their Jeep Cherokee into a corn field and fled on foot shortly after 1:00 a.m. near the intersection of Highway 146 (Short Mountain Highway) and Highway 83 (New Home Road).
The man arrested, Davien Brown of Oak Dale Drive, Lebanon, and the other man, who may have already left the area, are suspects in a burglary overnight at L& C Market in Watertown. A cash drawer from the store, containing money was found in the Jeep Cherokee along with boltcutters, believed to have been used to break into the store. The suspects are believed to have committed nine burglaries within the last seven days in Wilson County.
Sheriff Patrick Ray told WJLE that the suspects were almost caught red handed this morning after Wilson County authorities responded to a call alerting them to the Watertown break-in. As officers arrived, the Jeep Cherokee sped away, but they got in behind the vehicle and started a pursuit.
According to Sheriff Ray, his department received a call at 12:52 a.m. from Wilson County authorities notifying them that the pursuit was approaching DeKalb County. Sheriff Ray said one of his deputies took over the pursuit on Highway 70 near DeKalb West School at 12:56 a.m. and the chase continued east at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour until the Jeep Cherokee turned right on New Home Road near Kilgore's Restaurant. As the suspects reached the end of New Home Road, they ran the Jeep across the intersection of Highway 146 (Short Mountain Highway) and through a corn field, before stopping. The suspects baled out of the Jeep and fled on foot at 1:05 a.m. Six minutes later, at 1:11 a.m., Sheriff Ray said a call came in from the 5000 block of Short Mountain Highway. The residents there reported that they had heard the sirens and got out of bed to see what was happening. About that time, they heard someone trying to open their back door. They turned on the back porch light and saw a man holding a flashlight running away from the home.
Sheriff Ray said DeKalb and Wilson County Sheriff's Department deputies and detectives converged on the scene to begin the search. A Wilson County K-9 was brought in and a call was placed for a THP aircraft, but no aerial search could be arranged due to weather conditions. A reverse 911 call was made to residents within a two mile radius alerting them about the search for the missing suspect. At 2:54 a.m. one of the suspects, Brown, was taken into custody after he was located in the corn field by the Wilson County K-9. He was not armed. To make sure Brown was not seriously hurt by the K-9 bites he received, DeKalb EMS was called to the scene to check him out.