chase suspect 13 miles
Wanda English Burnett, Editor
After a 13-mile pursuit S/Tpr. Jim Ponsler of the Indiana State
Police, arrested Terry Lee Smith, 34, of Somerset, KY.
The pursuit began when just after midnight on July 31, a dispatch
was sent out by the Dearborn County Sheriffs Department about
a possible intoxicated driver who was driving a small red passenger
car with broken taillights westbound on I-74 near the S.R. 1 exit.
Trooper Ponsler was in the area and saw a red car meeting that description
near the 152 mile marker in Ripley County. He followed the vehicle
for a short distance and observed erratic driving. The trooper initiated
a traffic stop near the Batesville exit but when he began to walk
up to the car, it sped away at a high rate of speed.
The pursuit continued across I-74 into Decatur County with speeds
reaching up to 120 mph. Trooper Joe Loyd of the Indiana State Police
joined the effort to stop the vehicle and placed stop sticks near
the 141 mile marker. After the suspects vehicle ran over the
stop sticks, he continued about two miles at much slower speeds
and was finally pulled over near the 139 mile marker where officers
say the driver, and lone occupant of the vehicle, was taken into
custody without incident.
While police were chasing the vehicle, the driver made a frantic
call to 911 saying someone was trying to kill him. At the time,
he said he was the passenger and someone else was driving. He was
begging the dispatcher to get the police to back off.
He said he feared for his life.
The dispatcher asked him if the alleged driver had a
weapon. While at first he said he didnt, he then changed his
story and said he did. Finally, after a short silence and six minutes
of a 911 call for help, Smith admitted there was no one else in
the vehicle, no weapon, and he was the lone occupant and the driver.
He apologized for lying. The dispatcher told him to stay put and
not get out of the vehicle as police came up to the car. The call
ended and Smith was taken to the Ripley County Jail where he is
being held on charges of Resisting Law Enforcement with a Vehicle,
Driving While Intoxicated, Reckless Driving, and Driving While Suspended.
Assisting the Indiana State Police with the incident were the Batesville
and Greensburg police departments and the Decatur County Sheriffs