Tennessee man arrested following two-county pursuit


Tribune staff reports

A 31-year-old Tennessee man was arrested after leading police on a 10-mile pursuit Tuesday evening through Jackson and Bartholomew counties.

The incident that led to the arrest of Matthew Trey Murphy of Chattanooga began at approximately 6 p.m. when the Indiana State Police receive a report that a motorist in a white Dodge Challenger was driving erratically on northbound Interstate 65, entering Jackson County from Scott County near the 36 mile marker, according to a news release from Sgt. Stephen Wheeles with the Versailles Post.

Multiple callers reported the driver of the vehicle was weaving on the road and erratically changing speeds, said Wheeles, the post’s public information officer.

Jackson County Sheriff’s Department Officer Alan Jones located the vehicle traveling northbound on I-65 near the 50 mile marker at Seymour, police said.

Wheeles was able to catch up to Jones and the Challenger, and the two officers attempted to stop the vehicle near the 54 mile marker in northern Jackson County, Wheeles said.

Murphy slowed initially before accelerating and fleeing from the officers, Wheeles said.

Officers pursued Murphy at speeds of approximately 50 to 75 mph northbound into Bartholomew County. Murphy took evasive action to avoid a tire deflation device placed near the 63 mile marker. He then slowed the vehicle and came to a stop just north of Exit 64 near Columbus.

Sgt. Zachariah Ruble and Trooper David Simpkins then arrived to assist, and Murphy was eventually taken into custody.

He was transported by ambulance to Columbus Regional Health, where he submitted to a blood test for intoxication. The results of the test are pending at this time.

Upon being released from the hospital, Murphy was transported to the Bartholomew County Jail in Columbus, where he was incarcerated on initial charges of resisting law enforcement, operating while intoxicated and reckless driving.

Northbound I-65 was closed for approximately one hour while the scene was cleared, Wheeles said. Bartholomew County animal control responded to remove a dog from the vehicle.

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