Tennessee police officer injured in high-speed chase crossing state lines; 'months of recovery ahead'

EAST RIDGE, TN - An officer is hospitalized, and a suspect is in custody following a high-speed pursuit Monday night spanning two states.

According to MSN, the pursuit began just before 9:00 p.m. Monday night in Tennessee when authorities attempted to stop a stolen vehicle on eastbound I-24 in Marion County.

The pursuit continued into Hamilton County reaching triple digit speeds when authorities said that the suspect struck the officer.

Upon crossing into Georgia, the chase ended in Whitfield County where officers with the Motor Carrier Compliance Division (MCCD) performed a PIT maneuver causing the suspect vehicle to “exit the right shoulder, collide with a guardrail, and re-enter the lane of travel, hitting the right side of a MCCD vehicle before coming to a stop on the left shoulder against the guardrail.”

East Ridge Police Officer Alan Resendiz was identified as the officer that was struck in Hamilton County. Authorities said that he was laying spike strips when the suspect hit him.

A news release from the City of East Ridge said that the suspect “swerved across multiple lanes” to hit the officer “at an extremely high rate of speed.”

Officer Resendiz, who carries the nickname "Smiley" has been on the police force for two years. He remains in the hospital in stable condition; however, he faces months of recovery.

The suspect has been identified as 22-year-old Ta’Bious Tezmon Wheat. He is currently in custody at the Whitfield County Jail awaiting extradition to Tennessee.

Wheat is facing numerous charges in Whitfield County including following too closely, improper lane change, safety belt violation, reckless driving, DUI, driving on divided highway, theft by bringing stolen property into state, open container violation, driving while license is suspended or revoked, and fugitive for justice.

“The East Ridge Police Department cannot begin to express their appreciation to the Chattanooga Police Department, the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, and the Tennessee Highway Patrol for their assistance in this matter. The East Ridge Fire Department and Hamilton EMS provided exemplary care for their injured officer and are to be commended for their efforts. The East Ridge Police Department would also like to thank the Georgia law enforcement agencies responsible for taking Mr. Wheat into custody,” a release from the East Ridge Police Department said.

East Ridge Police Chief Clint Uselton said that Officer Resendiz was dubbed “Smiley” by his coworkers because “he is literally smiling all the time.”

There is no further information available at this time.
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