KNOXVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Tennessee Highway Patrol dispatchers teamed up with troopers on patrol on Interstate 40 to locate a car with a domestic assault in progress. They used an open cell phone call and sirens to track the vehicle.
On August 8, THP Knoxville Dispatch Operator Zach Bisch received a call from a domestic assault victim while inside a moving vehicle.
During the call, THP officials said it became apparent that the woman was being struck and held against her will.
Due to the caller's open cell phone line, dispatchers were able to pinpoint the location of the vehicle on Interstate 40.
With no vehicle description, THP officials said the car passed through the Knoxville area undetected.
THP dispatchers and troopers then teamed up to find the car by a rather unusual means.
THP Sergeant Robert Woody and Dispatch Supervisor Megan Rankin had Trooper Mark Chitwood activate his patrol car's siren and set up along I-40 West at the 347 mile marker.
This was done in an effort to see if dispatch could hear the trooper's siren over the open cell phone line.
Trooper James Capps was also staged along I-40 West around the 345 mile marker and utilized a different siren tone.
Both siren tones were detected by dispatch over the open cell phone line, allowing the two troopers to pinpoint and identify the suspect vehicle.
THP officials said the driver, Jerry York, 52, of Cookeville, began to throw meth into the backseat of the car.
Troopers stopped York without incident around the 345 mile marker.
Trooper Chitwood performed a field sobriety test on York, and determined the man was under the influence.
York was arrested and charged with DUI, driving on a revoked license, tampering with evidence, manufacturing sale and delivery of methamphetamine, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Other felony charges are pending, investigators said.
A subsequent search of the vehicle revealed two more bags of meth weighing about three grams in the purse of Joann Sparks, 44, of Cookeville.
Sparks was arrested and charged with manufacturing sale and delivery of methamphetamine.