August 26, 2021
By: Dwayne Page
Law enforcement officers encountered a bizarre incident Wednesday morning as a Cookeville man led them on a two county pursuit from Dowelltown to Lebanon on Highway 70. What they learned was that the man, 39 year old Tyson Gilbert had severed his own penis and tossed it out the car window somewhere along the route either before or during the chase. Gilbert said he heard voices on his car radio telling him to commit the act in order to save the world.
Trooper Bobby Johnson of the Tennessee Highway Patrol was the first to come across Gilbert after spotting his Honda Accord parked partially in the roadway on Highway 70 at Dowelltown.
“When I pulled up behind him and turned my lights on he took off and refused to stop. He was all over the road the whole time. He turned off on Old Liberty Road and came to a stop. He opened his door. He was naked and covered in blood. He then shut his door and kept driving,” said Trooper Johnson.
“The Alexandria Police Department spiked him (put down spike strips) on Highway 70 as he was going through Alexandria. He kept traveling westbound into Wilson County. The THP spiked him in Watertown but he continued westbound. We finally were able to box him in and got him stopped on Highway 70 right before the Interstate at I-40 and took him in custody. He was then transported to Vanderbilt Hospital, “said Trooper Johnson.
While the spike strips didn’t stop Gilbert immediately, Johnson said they did slow him down.
“The first spike strips got one of his front tires and the second got the other tire. The Wilson County Sheriff’s department tried to spike him past Watertown but missed. After that it became a slow speed pursuit with him running on his rims until we boxed him in,” added Trooper Johnson
Gilbert has active warrants against him for other offenses in Cookeville.
In addition to Trooper Johnson, other law enforcement agencies involved in the pursuit were Troopers of the Cookeville and Nashville THP Districts, the DeKalb County and Wilson County Sheriff’s Departments, and the Alexandria and Watertown Police Departments. Not all of them followed all the way into Lebanon. DeKalb County terminated its pursuit at the DeKalb-Wilson County line.