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Long Police Pursuit begins in Sequatchie County Ends in Marion County

Information released by Whitwell Police:

On Wednesday, March 20, 2024, at approximately 11 AM, police were notified that a motor vehicle pursuit was headed into Marion County, which the Sequatchie County Sheriff’s Office initiated. Police were advised that the driver had fled from a traffic stop in their jurisdiction, and a pursuit ensued. Whitwell Police joined the pursuit and took the lead as it entered the Whitwell City Limits.

The vehicle was described as an older model Chevrolet S-10 bearing Tennessee registration 474-BLXN. Police observed the driver as a white male with a white female passenger.

The vehicle was observed to be traveling southbound at a high rate of speed, with speeds up to 87 miles per hour.

Police continued to pursue Southbound on Highway 28 at Ketner Mill Road when Powells Crossroads Police attempted to deploy spike strips to stop the motorist. However, the driver swerved out of the way, and the spike was unsuccessful. Jasper Police units also attempted to deploy spike strips, but the driver swerved into the grassy shoulder area of the road. The Drug Task Force then joined the pursuit. The driver struck a DTF vehicle on the driver’s side.

The passenger in the vehicle was visibly distressed, holding onto a grab bar in the truck, and looked as though she was crying and panicking.

Police reported that they observed the driver drinking alcohol, which was later confirmed to be Fireball Whiskey, while in pursuit. The driver then fled Westbound on Interstate 24 without regard for other motorists on the roadway.

The pursuit passed Interstate 24 Westbound at the 152-mile marker when the suspect’s vehicle struck something on the roadway, flattening his tire. The driver then drove his vehicle into the median and turned Eastbound on Interstate 24. At this time, the vehicle pursuit came to an end.

While DTF Agents and officers were removing the driver from the vehicle, he exited the truck bearing a red kitchen knife in his left hand. At this time, the driver was placed into custody without any further incident or injury.

The driver is identified as Jacob Seth Finley. He told police that he ran because he had just gotten out of prison and was on parole. The female advised that numerous times throughout the pursuit, he said he “wasn’t going to stop,” she requested him to stop approximately six or seven times, and he reiterated he wasn’t stopping. It should be noted that Finley advised police that he “intended for us to kill him,” which was part of the reason he was holding the knife.

In the vehicle, police located Fireball Whiskey that Finley had allegedly been drinking while driving.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol has charged Finley with Driving Under the Influence and Open Container charges. Whitwell Police have charged Finley with two counts of Aggravated Assault, Reckless Endangerment, False Imprisonment, Felony Evading Arrest, and Resisting Arrest. Finley will be in court on April 17, 2024, at the Marion County Courthouse.

Whitwell Police Chief David Boyd stated, “I am proud of how my officer and the other officers and agents handled this situation, keeping the public safe by getting this suspect off the road who clearly didn’t care about anyone else.”