An early morning car chase has law officers looking for two men Friday night. One is a suspect, the other a person of interest who may have more information on the chase. Police say the chase started in Glade Spring and covered land and water.
It started at a stop sign in Glade Spring around 1:30 Friday morning. Police say the car didn't stop, so they followed. "Officer Stumbo fell behind the vehicle, observed it driving erratically. He ran the tags and the tags came back stolen out of Saltville," said Saltville Police Chief Rob Hall.
But that car bolted, with officers chasing the driver all the way to Saltville on Henrytown Road with a dead-end in the river. Chief Hall says the suspect then jumped out of the car and ran towards Holston River, "We don't know if he jumped or fell in but either way he wound up in the river and was observed to swim across."
But that journey continued, police believe the man got out of the water and disappeared in the woods. Since then Saltville Police have been searching Perryville Road and going door-to-door to find their suspect.
News 5 also learned police found a one-pot meth lab inside that car, as well as precursors to make meth. Chief Hall has a person of interest, Troy Lee Thomas, and believe Thomas has information that could help their case. "There were elements concerning the actual stop once the stop occurred that suggest Mr. Thomas may have some info about this incident," added Chief Hall.
Homeowners on Henrytown Road, like Thomas Holley, say news of this chase is no surprise and say stolen cars are left behind near his home on a regular basis. "I guess they just think because it's a dead-end maybe they can get away" he said.
Chief Hall says the biggest concern right now is the welfare of the suspect because of the bitterly cold temperatures.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Saltville Police Department at (276)783-7204.