A Knoxville man fled after resisting an officer, driving toward Rocky Top Convenience Store on Oak Ridge Turnpike, and hitting a steel post in the gas station’s parking lot early Tuesday morning, authorities said.
The Oak Ridge Police Department is still searching for the man, identified as Sherrius Smith, 20, of Viking Road in Knoxville. Officers are also searching for a 17-year-old female who was in the car with Smith.
Two ORPD officers responded to Rocky Top at about 1:40 a.m. Tuesday to investigate a suspicious black sedan in the parking lot, occupied by Smith and the juvenile, a press release said. Smith and the juvenile were reportedly intoxicated and had been involved in a verbal disturbance earlier after exiting the store, the ORPD said in the release.
“Smith then physically resisted one officer, and during the struggle, both entered the front driver’s side door of the sedan,” the release said. “Mr. Smith then placed the vehicle into drive and accelerated toward the store. The vehicle was prevented from striking the building when the officer who was attempting to control Mr. Smith managed to turn the wheel, directing the vehicle away from the building. The vehicle struck a steel post in the parking lot, disabling it, and Mr. Smith fled the scene on foot.”
More officers responded, and multiple charges are pending against Smith, the press release said.
“The investigation remains ongoing; no further information will be released at this time,” the ORPD said.