|On March 10, 2015 at approximately 12:15 PM, an officer assigned to the Kingsport Police Department’s Traffic Unit was conducting stationary traffic enforcement on South John B. Dennis Highway near Tidewater Court in Kingsport. The officer observed a northbound red Kawasaki Ninja racing style motorcycle. He initially did not see a license plate displayed on the motorcycle; however, due to traffic congestion, he was unable to get close enough to the motorcycle to further investigate.
Approximately five minutes later, the same officer was northbound on South John B. Dennis Highway when he observed the same motorcycle traveling back southbound. As the officer slowed and began to turn his vehicle around to further investigate, the motorcyclist accelerated the bike to over 100 mph in an obvious attempt to evade. The officer briefly engaged his emergency lights and siren in an attempt to catch up to him; however, due to the reckless actions of the rider and out of concern for the safety of other motorists, the officer quickly abandoned the attempt.
Approximately five minutes later, the same officer was parked in the parking lot of the Eastman Soccer Complex, located at 2969 Sullivan Gardens Parkway, when he observed the same motorcycle headed back northbound. When the officer pulled out and initiated a traffic stop, the cyclist looked back at the officer and in a taunting and obscene gesture, extended his middle finger at the officer. The motorcyclist then, once again accelerated the bike to over 100 mph in a second obvious attempt to evade.
Again, due to the reckless actions of the rider and out of concern for the safety of other motorists, the officer immediately abandoned the attempt to stop him. The officer did, however, advise other officers via radio to be on the lookout for the motorcyclist in question. Seconds later, one officer observed the motorcycle make a left turn from Sullivan Gardens Parkway onto South Wilcox Drive, and another officer observed the motorcycle pull in behind a commercial building, located at 1555 South Wilcox Drive, in an apparent attempt to hide.
Responding officers quickly surrounded the motorcycle in the parking lot and took the rider into custody without incident. The rider was 17 years old, so his identity will not be released; however, his charges include:
1) Felony Reckless Endangerment
2) Felony Evading Arrest
3) Speeding (100 mph in a 55 mph zone)
4) Reckless Driving
5) Driving without a License
6) Failure to Comply with Financial Responsibility Law (No Insurance)
He was confined in an area Juvenile Detention Center pending arraignment in Juvenile Court.
An unlicensed, inexperienced, and immature juvenile operating a powerful sport motorcycle is clearly a dangerous and potentially deadly combination. Fortunately in this case, the situation was resolved safely and tragedy was avoided. The K.P.D. traffic enforcement officer utilized sound judgment by not pursuing the motorcycle. He instead waited patiently until a safer method to successfully apprehend the rider presented itself.