Mt. Juliet Police are continuing their search for a man who bailed from a stolen pickup truck Tuesday afternoon as it rolled off the roadway.
The incident occurred around 1:10 p.m. and forced a brief delay in a junior varsity baseball game at Wilson Central High School while the search for the suspect was conducted.
A news release from the Mt. Juliet Police Department said a police officer, driving an unmarked vehicle, spotted a Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck on Interstate 40 east around 1:10 p.m. A computer check of the registration revealed that the truck was stolen out of Maryville, in East Tennessee, on March 10.
The officer called for assistance and waited for additional police units before initiating a traffic stop on the truck. Additional police units arrived as the truck was traveling on Highway 109 near Central Pike in Lebanon.
Prior to the officers attempting to stop the truck, the suspect drove off the roadway, jumped out, and started running. The suspect ran into a wooded area to the east of Hwy. 109 and near Wilson Central. Lebanon Police, Wilson County Sheriff’s Department and Tennessee Highway Patrol aviation quickly responded to the area to assist in locating the suspect.
The suspect, however, remains at large.
Wilson County Schools are on spring break, but there were some faculty and students at the school during the search. Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan quickly responded to the scene himself to ensure the safety of the students and faculty remained a top priority, the news release noted. Sheriff’s deputies were quickly positioned at the school as a precaution, and the junior varsity baseball game was delayed momentarily for the search.
“I’m so grateful for the response of our law enforcement partners,” said MJPD Chief James Hambrick. “They stopped what they were doing without hesitation and quickly responded to help us locate the suspect, which I am thankful of.”
The suspect was described as a middle-aged white male with a medium build. He was wearing a light-colored button down shirt with a “Hawaiian” pattern and cargo shorts that were khaki or faded camouflage. A heavy police presence was to remain in the area through Tuesday night. If he is spotted, call police immediately at 754-2550.