A driver who didn’t stop for not wearing a seatbelt, led law enforcement on a long chase and ended up arrested on drug charges June 4.

Monroe County Sheriff’s Corporal Dakota Rinehart said it was around 5:30 p.m. when he saw a car on River Road where the driver was not wearing a seatbelt. He also noticed it didn’t have a working break light.

Rinehart said he tried to stop the car, but the driver sped up and was passing cars on very hazardous curves.

Rinehart said he temporarily lost sight of the car, but spoke to another driver on the road who was passed by the car and was told it was traveling towards Tellico Plains.

Rinehart caught sight of the car near the steel bridge on Highway 165 where people were walking along the roadway, but the driver still refused to stop. Rinehart said the car continued to pass cars dangerously and drove through a bicycle event in the area before driving by the Tellico Beach Drive In which had a lot of customers by the road side.

Rinehart said the car sped past more businesses, through town and turned onto New Highway 68 and began driving toward Madisonville.

Rinehart said other deputies deployed stop sticks on New Highway 68 near the New Providence intersection and disabled three of the tires on the car. Still, the driver continued to move until he finally had to stop near Tate Mill Road.

Rinehart said the driver then got out of the car and attempted to run, but Rinehart caught up to him and used his Taser, which took the man to the ground, but he wasn’t ready to give up the fight as Rinehart said he attempted to grab his gun along with other items on his belt and knocked off his body camera at some point in the struggle.

Rinehart said he tasered the man again and he became compliant.

Rinehart eventually noticed a female passenger in the car had gotten out and ran into a field. She was identified as Ashley Marie Nelson and the driver as David Lee Barbee.

Rinehart said a a plastic baggie containing a white powder substance was found on the ground where Nelson was standing. A search of the car then turned up a green leafy substance and rolling papers.

Rinehart said both were read their rights and taken into custody. Barbee admitted he’d used drugs earlier in the day and a check showed he did not have a driver’s license.

Rinehart said footage from his dash camera showed a bag being thrown out during his chase. The bag was found and had a crystal substance in it and a glass pipe with white residue in it. It also showed Nelson running into the field and trying to hide.

Barbee, 37, Birchwood Pike, Harrison, is charged with aggravated assault, evading arrest, possession of meth, possession of marijuana, driving without a license, reckless driving and not wearing a seatbelt.

Nelson, 38, Harrison Bay Road, Harrison, is charged with tampering with evidence, evading arrest by foot, possession of meth and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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