ENGLE— A routine patrol by Kentucky State Police (KSP) in the Engle community of Perry County turned into a high speed chase that led KSP Troopers into Breathitt County earlier this month.
KSP Trooper Matt Gayheart was patrolling KY-15 in the Engle community of Perry County on August 5, when around 1:30 p.m. he noticed a white Dodge Challenger speeding 77mph in a 55mph speed zone that was heading north bound. Trooper Gayheart turned his police cruiser around and was able to get behind the Dodge Challenger and attempted to perform a traffic stop. Upon activating his emergency lights, Trooper Gayheart says the motorist in the Dodge Challenger sped up, that’s when Trooper Gayheart activated his police cruiser’s signals and pursued the fleeing vehicle.
In a uniform citation, Trooper Gayheart said he pursued the Dodge Challenger into Breathitt County, where according to Trooper Gayheart, the Dodge Challenger began passing motor vehicles on the wrong side of the road, and in blind curves. Trooper Gayheart said that pursuit continued on KY-15 for approximately 8 more miles until the suspect in the Dodge Challenger attempted to turn onto Sigman Rd., at which point the suspect lost control of the vehicle because of the high rate of speed the suspect was travelling and crashed into a guardrail.
The operator of the vehicle was described by Trooper Gayheart as a male with dark hair who was wearing white shorts and a blue shirt. The dark haired man would be later identifed as Joseph S. Reynolds, 30, of Lexington. After the crash, Reynolds exited the vehicle and fled on foot, according to Trooper Gayheart. Trooper Gayheart called out that he was with KSP and ordered Reynolds to stop running.
Trooper Gayheart chased after Reynolds, who fled into a wooded area that led to a river. Trooper Gayheart stopped his pursuit when he lost sight of the Reynolds. When the canine units arrived on the scene, they began to track Reynolds. The track led the canine unit into the river, at which point the canine lost the scent of Reynolds.
At around 7:20 p.m., police units that where patrolling the area located an individual that matched Reynolds description. According to the uniform citation, Reynolds had head and face injuries, and also a burn scrape on his left arm. His shorts and shoes were covered in mud. Reynolds was detained and transported to KSP’s Post 13. Trooper Gayheart was recontacted and responded back to Post 13, and identified Reynolds as the suspect that was driving the Dodge Challenger. He was placed under arrest, photographed, and read his Miranda Rights. An interview with Reynolds was attempted, but he requested an attorney and did not want to answer Trooper Gayheart’s questions. He was taken to Kentucky River Regional Jail (KRRJ).
As previously reported by The Hazard Herald in last week’s issue of the paper, Reynolds was indicted this month on one count of receiving stolen property valued at $10,000 or more, a Class C Felony. On or around July 31, Reynolds allegedly committed the offense of receiving stolen property valued at $10,000 or more when he was in possession of a white 2009 Dodge Challenger that he allegedly knowingly knew to be stolen and belonging to Chrysler of Nicholasville.
He was also indicted one count of first-degree criminal mischief, a Class D Felony. Reynold allegedly committed the offense of first-degree criminal mischief when he damaged the Dodge Challenger that belonged to Chrysler of Nicholasville by failing to negotiate a turn at a high rate of speed while attempting to evade KSP, causing him to crash the vehicle into a guardrail.
Reynolds was also indicted on one count of first-degree fleeing or evading police in a motor vehicle, one count of fleeing or evading police on foot, and one count of first-degree wanton endangerment, a Class D felony.
Bail was set in the amount of $25,000 plus home incarceration
TJ Caudill can be reached at 606-436-5771 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.