Dash cam video released in high-speed chase of Metro Schools employee

Jeffrey Smith was placed on administrative leave on March 2 for ‘concerning behavior,’ according to an MNPS spokesperson.
Cheatham County deputies have released video of the high-speed chase they said the Metro Schools Director of Visual and Performing Arts led on Friday afternoon.
Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 6:31 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 15, 2023 at 4:39 AM CDT
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ASHLAND CITY, Tenn. (WSMV) - Cheatham County deputies have released dash and body camera video of the high-speed chase they said the Metro Schools Director of Visual and Performing Arts, Jeff Smith, led on Friday afternoon.

Smith took off during a traffic stop in Cheatham County for suspected kidnapping as well as aggravated assault warrants, deputies said. The chase reached speeds of more than 100 mph while Smith’s two teenage children were in the backseat.

Kidnapping suspect leads Middle Tennessee deputies on high-speed chase

Smith was seen on video swerving through traffic on small rural roads, deputies said. He almost hit two deputies who were out of their car trying to stop him with spike strips, including one moment where he sped through a gas station to avoid the spikes.

Once the chase got to Clarksville, Smith cut off drivers on Riverside Drive and went across a closed road near the Austin Peay State University campus, deputies said. He eventually crashed in a neighborhood.

The video shows the two children running from the car and being chased down by deputies. Smith tried to hide in the car and had to be shot with a taser. He can be heard screaming as deputies pulled him out of the car and onto the ground.

MNPS arts director under investigation prior to alleged car chase

According to a spokesperson for Metro Schools, Smith was placed on paid administrative leave on Thursday, March 2, for “concerning behavior” and is still under investigation. As part of the investigation, he was not allowed to be on school property or have contact with any students, parents or co-workers.

Smith was arrested and charged in both Cheatham and Montgomery counties. He’s being held in jail on a $70,000 bond with charges including felony evading arrest, reckless driving and two counts of reckless endangerment.

The two juveniles were returned to their mother, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said.