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Lebanon police chase down suspect Monday
Jul 12, 2006 12:00 am
July 5, 2006 – Law enforcement agencies in Wilson County reported all was quiet in the county during the holiday, but Lebanon Police Department didn't have it so easy the night before.
Officers had to coax a Lebanon man out of an attic where he barricaded himself after running a police roadblock July 3.
John Mears, 36, of 737 Hartsville Pike in Lebanon, was arrested and charged with felony evading arrest and driving under the influence. He is out on a $5,000 bond.
At 11 p.m. Monday, Mears drove up to the LPD sobriety checkpoint on North Cumberland Street, but refused to pull all the way up to the stop, Lebanon Public Safety Coordinator Mike Justice said. Mears then drove through the police barricade, leading police on a chase to his home on Hartsville Pike.
"He ran inside and shut and locked the door," Justice said.
Mears shares the home with his elderly grandmother. She gave police permission to enter the house, but Mears had barricaded himself inside attic.
Police were able to communicate with Mears through a crawl space. But after two hours of talking, Mears refused to come down, and the police's Special Operations Team was called in.
"Temperatures were so hot in the attic we were worried about his condition," Justice said.
But the Special Operations Team never had to enter the attic. Sgt. Mike Bay was able to cajole Mears into surrendering.
After spending part of the night in Wilson County jail, Mears was released on bond. He will appear in general sessions court Sept. 25.
Chasing down Mears wasn't the only activity Lebanon police experienced during the Fourth of July holiday.
The agency reported it was chasing down complaints of people shooting fireworks in the city limits, though the agency noted more complaints were logged July 3 than on Independence Day. Setting off fireworks inside the city limits is illegal.
Lebanon firefighter Dustin Liddell said the holiday was slow, but he expected a busy evening of putting out fires caused by errant fireworks.
"When everyone gets out and starts shooting fireworks is when we get real busy," Liddell said.
In the afternoon, Wilson Emergency Management Agency Public Information Officer Adrian McNabb reported little activity in the county so far, but also cautioned the day was still young.
"Not much has gone on, but who's to say what will happen in a little while," McNabb said.
By 5 p.m. McNabb said two grass fires were reported in Mt. Juliet, but they didn't appear to have been started by fireworks.
Watertown police reported no major activity, as did the Mt. Juliet police and the Wilson County Sheriff's Department.
Staff Writer Nick Fowler can be reached at 444-3952.