Four Chattanooga residents are in the Coffee County Jail following a wild pursuit that started at the Manchester post office on Wednesday, Feb. 3.
According to Coffee County Sheriff’s Department Chief Investigator Billy Butler, the sheriff’s department was working with the postal inspector in relation to a case of identity theft in the area.
Authorities got word that potential suspects were actually at the post office and were shipping packages. One of the subjects got out of the vehicle and was apprehended inside the post office by Coffee County Sheriff’s Department authorities. That subject has been identified as Tawon Lebron Billips, Jr..
“We then boxed in the vehicle they were traveling in the parking lot,” explained Butler.
At that point, the driver, identified as Jeffery Dewayne Dews, rammed police vehicles and took off. Police chased the vehicle down US Highway 41, and then on State Highway 55 toward McMinnville.
“Warren County had strips set up before the split at (Warren County) High School. They went around it and then traveled the wrong direction up Highway 55.”
Butler said the suspects threw two loaded handguns out of the vehicle that were recovered by officers.
“The pursuit was terminated on Highway 70 going toward Cannon County,” said Butler.
A short time later, the vehicle was discovered abandoned and the three occupants inside were apprehended a few hundred yards from the vehicle.
In addition to Dews and Billups Jr., also arrested were Armond Jarve Dews and Jada Yanai Springs. All have Chattanooga addresses.
Butler said joint efforts of McMinnville Police Department, Warren County Sheriff’s Department and Tennessee Highway Patrol were integral in a safe resolution to the pursuit.
Butler said the group faces multiple charges, including evading arrest, aggravated assault with the vehicle, reckless driving, identity theft and others. He added that gun charges will be turned over to federal authorities.