Two men sought in Monteagle police chase

Two men sought in Monteagle police chase

Authorities are looking for two men, possibly from Alabama, who are being sought after a police chase in Monteagle, Tenn., involving two pick up trucks, a tractor and the town police chief.

Monteagle Police Chief Virgil McNeese said investigation started at 8:30 a.m. CDT Wednesday with a theft report in nearby Sewanee, Tenn., where a pickup truck had been reported stolen.

The chief said the owner of the stolen truck called police as he followed the driver of his truck heading east from Sewanee toward Monteagle with a Case tractor on a trailer in tow.

McNeese spotted a blue GMC pickup truck pulling the tractor on West Main Street not far from the police department and took up pursuit as the chase led down Spring Street. The tractor, valued around $30,000, had been reported stolen in Pelham, Tenn.

“This could be on the ‘World’s Dumbest Criminal’ show,” McNeese said with an exasperated laugh.

Another pickup truck, a blue Chevrolet Silverado with no license plates, was following the truck pulling the tractor as what McNeese called a decoy to distract pursuit away from stolen truck and tractor.

“I’ve done this a day or two and I didn’t fall for their trick,” he said.

As the GMC pulling the tractor reached the end of Spring Street, a dead-end road, the driver jumped out and jumped into the bed of the Chevrolet.

The now-driverless GMC pulling the tractor kept rolling.

“It came to a stop in a yard and thank the good Lord he didn’t roll through somebody’s house,” McNeese said.

“I continued to chase the truck, and the man in the back throws an air compressor at me,” the chief said. McNeese dodged the air compressor as the man in the bed of the truck bailed out and took off on foot.

“The driver of the other truck kept going, went through a yard and tore a fence down,” McNeese said. “He went up into the woods as far as he could go and bailed out.”

“At that point, that’s when we called [Tennessee Highway Patrol] helicopter, and we got Marion County, Tracy City, Sewanee and Grundy County to assist us,” he said.

A manhunt continued through the day on Wednesday. The men then were pursued by a tracking dog but at the point where they crossed Interstate 24, the dogs lost their trail, according to officials.

That didn’t keep authorities from learning at least one man’s identity, the chief said.

That man — the one who jumped from the truck pulling the tractor into the bed of the other pickup truck and tossed out the air compressor — left his wallet and a “Roll Tide” t-shirt behind, McNeese said.

Investigators matched the decoy truck’s registration to the owner of the wallet, and plan to use video surveillance from some area convenience stores to track their movements.

“We know who they are now,” he said.

Though the two men remain at-large, they have been identified and the stolen property has all been recovered, McNeese said.

The chief now is seeking warrants for the two men. He didn’t disclose their names but that information might be released later, he said.

Anyone with any information about the case should contact the Monteagle Police Department at 931-924-2077.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at or or or 423-757-6569.


Source:  by Ben Benton

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