Police pull pursuit suspect from Times News dumpster

Rain Smith • Feb 11, 2019 at 3:18 PM

KINGSPORT — Spike strips were deployed early Sunday to try and stop a motorist fleeing officers in Southwest Virginia, but the suspect continued into Kingsport on the car's rims and crashed at the Times News, then tried to hide in a dumpster while threatening suicide.

Jonathan A. Vanzant, 40, of Preakness Court in Kingsport, faces multiple charges in the incident, including felony reckless endangerment. According to records at the Kingsport Police Department, Vanzant was driving a 2004 Toyota Camry that displayed tags reported as stolen.

Earlier, a Gate City police officer and Scott County deputy had been involved in a pursuit of the car. At about 2:30 a.m., the KPD was alerted that Vanzant was headed into their jurisdiction. He was reportedly traveling on two blown front tires, the result of driving over police spike strips in Virginia.

While fleeing south on Lynn Garden Drive, Vanzant lost control and spun into oncoming lanes. After his car came to rest on the sidewalk outside the Times News, Vanzant reportedly ran from the scene of the crash. He was located inside a dumpster at the back of the Times News property but allegedly claimed to have a gun and threatened suicide.

The Times News was placed on lockdown as officers coaxed Vanzant to comply with commands. He eventually displayed his hands out the top of the dumpster, at which time police were able to take him into custody. Officers allegedly located a glass pipe in his vehicle.

Along with reckless endangerment, Kingsport police have charged Vanzant with evading arrest, possession of stolen property, driving on revoked, failure to have insurance, disorderly conduct and possession of drug paraphernalia. Additional, unspecified charges are pending in Scott County.


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