Joseph Valentino, 23, was arrested on Sunday in Rhea County, on multiple charges, after a high-speed chase, through multiple counties.
A Bradley County Sheriff’s Office patrol deputy initiated a traffic enforcement stop at approximately 9:57 p.m. on a vehicle that was traveling westbound in the eastbound lanes on 64 Highway. The vehicle failed to yield to the marked patrol car’s emergency lights and siren.
The suspect vehicle accelerated at a high rate of speed fleeing west on 64 Highway, which resulted in a multi-county pursuit through Bradley, McMinn, Meigs, and Rhea Counties. During the pursuit, the vehicle reached speeds in excess of 100 mph, failed to stop at eight intersections in Bradley County when the traffic light displayed red, and struck a Bradley County Sheriff Office’s marked patrol vehicle.
The pursuit ended in Rhea County when the fleeing vehicle lost control, left the roadway, and came to rest in a field. Multiple law-enforcement agencies were led on a foot pursuit through a small wooded area where the driver was eventually located and arrested. A female passenger inside the fleeing vehicle was briefly detained and released upon further investigation.
Deputies were able to determine the fleeing vehicle was stolen out of Catoosa County. The female passenger indicated she had no knowledge of the vehicle being stolen and was only receiving a ride from the driver. Additionally, the female passenger indicated she was in fear of her life and asked the driver numerous times to let her out of the vehicle during the pursuit; however the driver told her to “shut up” and continued driving.
The driver has been identified as Joseph Daniel Valentino, 23, of Springhill, Fl., who faces the following criminal charges: false imprisonment, felony evading, eight counts of felony reckless endangerment, possession of stolen property over $1,000, driving on suspended, and lane law violation.
Valentino also faces additional felony charges from Meigs County Sheriff’s Office and Decatur Police Department.
Sheriff Eric Watson said, “Our agency is thankful to Tennessee Highway Patrol, McMinn County Sheriff’s Office, Decatur Police Department, and Rhea County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance during last night’s pursuit. This team effort resulted in the arrest of a criminal offender and the recovery of stolen property from a neighboring state.”