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Woman drags officer before leading LPD on high speed chase
Aug 08, 2012 12:00 am
A College Grove woman who was wanted for an alleged check violation compounded her problems by leading officers on a high speed chase Monday morning.
According to LPD Chief Scott Bowen, Monday, Aug. 6, at approximately 10:40 a.m., the LPD received a call that Christina Matheison, who was at the Cash Express office located at 224 West Main, had an outstanding warrant in Williamson County for a check violation.
Lebanon dispatch confirmed that Matheison did in fact have an outstanding warrant, so officers were dispatched. Officer Jason Bringhurst made contact with a subject who identified herself as Christina Matheison. After the officer requested she get out of the car, Matheison refused to exit the vehicle and put the car in reverse and began to drive away - taking Bringhurst with her.
"That's when she backs out and drags him," Bowen said. "The other officer tried to get her to stop and that's when she almost hit him."
The officer she nearly struck was Lt. Brent Willett. The officers returned to their vehicles and gave chase.
Matheison reportedly drove through yards in an attempt to escape. Bowen noted that when a fleeing suspect becomes a danger to others, officers are obligated to try and stop their vehicle.
"We tried to box her in in a couple of places and she just started driving through yards," Bowen explained. "At that point we have to do what we can do to get her stopped."
He added that it's a balancing act, deciding if the suspect is more a danger to the public than a chase.
"You don't want to get anyone else hurt, but the officer and supervisor made the decision that she was driving in such a reckless manner we had to get her stopped," he explained.
Matheison eventually led officers onto State Route 840 and then onto Interstate 24. Matheison exited at Exit 97, Manchester Pike in Coffee County.
Bowen said that Matheison was driving very fast in her attempt to elude officers.
"The chase was mostly on the interstate," he said. "It's was at high speeds — at least 100 mph."
Shortly after Matheison made the exit, Lebanon officers lost contact with her. Rutherford County was already assisting in the pursuit and they made contact with Matheison just moments later. Bowen reported that Matheison had already avoided spike strips deployed by assisting agencies several times. Rutherford County deployed another set and, in an attempt to avoid them, Matheison wrecked her vehicle on Manchester Pike in Rutherford County.
Matheison was transported to Vanderbilt with non life-threatening injuries. Bringhurst did not sustain any serious injuries.
Matheison, 36, has been charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest, evading arrest and vandalism.
Bowen was disturbed that Matheison was injured in her attempt to escape, but it could have been worse.
"It's bad that she got hurt, but at least no innocent people got hurt," he concluded.
Staff writer Mary Hinds may be reached at 444-3952, ext. 45 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org