Man accused of running over Clarksville officer arrested - WSMV Channel 4

Man accused of running over Clarksville officer arrested in Cheatham Co.

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Billy McNeil was arrested on Wednesday in Cheatham County. (Source: Clarksville Police Department) Billy McNeil was arrested on Wednesday in Cheatham County. (Source: Clarksville Police Department)
Police released this dash cam video of the incident. (Source: Clarksville Police Department) Police released this dash cam video of the incident. (Source: Clarksville Police Department)
CLARKSVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A man wanted for allegedly driving over a Clarksville police officer with his car on Tuesday afternoon has been arrested.

Clarksville police said 35-year-old Billy McNeil was arrested Wednesday afternoon by deputies in Cheatham County outside a house on Higdon Road.

Clarksville Officer Seth Traughber responded to an Exxon on Highway 76 after someone called to complain about a man acting suspiciously in the parking lot.

Police said they found McNeil passed out in his car. Medics were able to wake him up after several attempts. Paramedics told police they found narcotic prescription bottles inside the car.

The officer said he could smell marijuana inside the vehicle and asked McNeil to step outside.

Instead, McNeil allegedly started the car and tried to shut the door, hitting the officer.

The officer said he told McNeil to stop, which is when McNeil allegedly said, "I can't do that," and took off, dragging the officer with him.

Police said the officer fell to the ground and McNeil drove over his left leg.

Channel 4's Briona Arradondo spoke to the injured officer about what happened.

"I just didn't want him to get away. I could detect what I thought was the odor of marijuana in the vehicle. He'd been passed out for 45 minutes," Traughber said. "I didn't want him driving that car on a public road to where he could possibly hurt, injure and kill someone else."

McNeil has a long history of run-ins with police, dating back 17 years. His past charges in Davidson County range from having a weapon as a felon and possession of drugs to driving on a suspended license and evading arrest.

Officer Traughber said he feels lucky to be able to walk away from the experience.

"In the moment, you don't really think about it. You know you have a job to do and I knew I had to get this guy detained and I was trying my best to do that," Traughber said.

After Tuesday's incident, police said McNeil will be charged with aggravated assault, driving on a revoked license, evading and resisting.

The officer was taken to the hospital and returned to work Wednesday. Traughber said he has some bruises on his leg and scrapes on his arm. He said feels sore but is otherwise fine. 

"I count myself very blessed, very blessed that I was able to walk away," Traughber said. "(I) talked to the wife last night and we're all good, ready to get back to work and get on the job."

McNeil was booked into the Montgomery County jail around 2:30 a.m. Thursday. His bond was set at $290,000.

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