Huntingdon officer injured in pursuit

DAMAGED - Huntingdon police officer Labe Ezell was slightly injured and his patrol car damaged in a pursuit Thuesday. Nathaniel Cawthon was charged in the incident.

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  • Huntingdon Police Officer Labe Ezell was treated and released from Baptist Hospital- Carroll County after his vehicle was struck during a police pursuit Thursday afternoon.
  • Another police vehicle was also struck during the high speed pursuit.
  • Nathaniel B. Cawthon, 20, of Nashville was charged with two counts of aggravated assault, felony evading arrest, reckless endangerment and multiple violations of traffic control devises as a result. He is currently in the Carroll County Jail where he is being held in lieu of a $31,500 bond.
  •                  He already had outstanding warrants against him in Carroll and Weakley Counties.
  • According to Director of Public Safety Walter Smothers, the incident began at 12:26 p.m. Investigator Joey Hedge was northbound on Veterans Drive Bypass when he observed a vehicle enter the traffic way from a private parking lot.
  •                  “The vehicle was spinning and fishtailing as it traveled northbound on Veterans Drive,” said Smothers. “The vehicle turned right as it approached the turn toward Highway 22 north of town, and continued to weave back and forth across the highway.”
  •                  In the meantime, Ezell and officer Michael Verner waited on High Street.
  • Cawthon suddenly turned right onto High St., ramming Ezell’s vehicle in the driver’s side causing both side airbags to deploy, disabling the patrol car due to damage to the rear drive axle.
  •                  He continued approximately one half mile, turning into a private parking lot.
  •                  As Verner turned into the parking lot, Cawton accelerated toward him head on before turning sharply right, causing the driver’s side of his vehicle to crash into the front Verner’s patrol car.
  • Cawthon then returned to High St. and proceeded to the bypass with Hedge in pursuit.
  • Cawthon turned right onto the bypass and eventually crossed over Northwood Drive without stopping, still weaving from side to side on the street.
  •                  As he approached the Buena Vista intersection, he slowed, turned left and headed east on Buena Vista Road before eventually turning left onto Maytown Road as he left the city limits.
  • Smothers said he continued to attempt to evade the officers as he drove eastward, crossing over Highway 114.
  • Carroll County deputy, Sgt. Mike Taylor joined the pursuit as Cawthon turned into a field near the intersection of Roland Mill Road where his 2011 Dodge Charger quit. He was taken into custody and taken to the Carroll County jail where he was processed.
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