Suspect facing 45 charges following 58-minute police pursuit - News, Weather & Sports

Suspect facing 45 charges following 58-minute police pursuit

Numerous police vehicles surrounded the suspect's car. (Source: WAVE 3 News) Numerous police vehicles surrounded the suspect's car. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
A police cruiser crashed into a utility pole in front of the Arby's in the 5300 block of Dixie Highway. (Source: Scott Adkins/WAVE 3 News) A police cruiser crashed into a utility pole in front of the Arby's in the 5300 block of Dixie Highway. (Source: Scott Adkins/WAVE 3 News)
The pursuit ended at least 20 minutes after it began. (Source: WAVE 3 News) The pursuit ended at least 20 minutes after it began. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Travis Mettling (Source: LMDC) Travis Mettling (Source: LMDC)
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A 58-minute police chase that began in Jeffersontown came to a dramatic end Tuesday in a fast-food parking lot when officers rammed the car the drug and domestic violence suspect was driving and took him into custody.

The suspect, Travis Ambrose Mettling, 30, was pulled over for routine traffic offences at Taylorville Road and Patti Lane at 9:39 a.m. on July 22, according to Jeffersontown Police Chief Rick Sanders. Three other people were inside the car.

[SLIDESHOW: Police pursuit comes to a dramatic end]

"The officer suspected something wasn't right because he said the passenger just didn't act right. They were acting nervous," said Sanders, "so he suspected there might be more to this."

When the officer returned to his vehicle to run Mettling's information, he discovered that Mettling was wanted on numerous charges. Sanders said Mettling drove off in his vehicle with the officer in pursuit.

Sanders said other officers joined the pursuit as it continued west on Taylorsville Road to Hurstbourne Lane and Poplar Level Road where Mettling got on the Watterson Expressway/Interstate 264. He exited the expressway at Dixie Highway.

"We were learning a lot as this pursuit was continuing," Sanders said. "Three of the occupants of the car were able to get out of the car one at a time."

Sanders said the first passenger to escape was on crutches. None of the three of them was injured.

"We learned from the passengers that were exiting the vehicle that the suspect was armed, and he told them that this was going to end in a shootout with the police," Sanders said. "We had every reason to believe that he was going to attempt to harm the police or end this by suicide by cop."

Several cars were wrecked during the pursuit, but Sanders said, "we continued to pursue because we thought we were chasing an armed and dangerous suspect."

Sanders said one of the passengers gave police Mettling's cell phone number. A Jeffersontown police sergeant talked to Mettling on the phone during the pursuit, trying to convince him to surrender.

"It became obvious to me and the others that he was not going to stop, and then we gave the command to go ahead and take the car out in a safe manner and a safe location," Sanders said. That happened on Dixie Highway near Lower Hunters Trace on the parking lot of an Arby's restaurant. Numerous police cars surrounded and rammed Mettling's vehicle, trapping him inside. Officers exited their vehicles with their guns drawn. They broke the vehicle's windows to reach Mettling.

No one was seriously hurt, although Sanders said a couple of officers were slightly injured. They were taken to a hospital to get checked out.

"I'm happy to report that they're okay," Sanders said, "and I'm happy that this thing ended as well as it did. I had every thought that this was going to end up in a shootout."

Sanders said Mettling was wanted in Jefferson County on numerous charges, including trafficking in controlled substances, 2nd degree assault, and in Indiana for domestic violence. He had failed to appear in court numerous times and had numerous fresh charges pending, according to Sanders.

As Mettling's three passengers, "I think [they were] in the wrong place at the wrong time," said Sanders, who added that one of them does have outstanding warrants.

"He'll be charged with those past charges," Sanders said, "but I think these three people in the vehicle, we have no evidence at this point that they had anything to do with what happened today."

Sanders said the Jeffersontown Police Department has a pursuit policy. "We do allow pursuits," he said, "however, we have the commanding officer on the set make a determination if the pursuit should continue. Some of the things we considered were traffic conditions, weather conditions, day or night, what the subject is wanted for. I was under the impression he was armed with a weapon. His intention was to end this in a shootout."

Sanders said a cigarette lighter that looks like a gun was found inside the car, but no weapon was located.

Tuesday Mettling was booked into Louisville Metro Department of Corrections. He is now facing 45 charges including five counts of wanton endangerment involving a police officer, three counts of wanton endangerment, eight counts of criminal mischief, seven counts of disregarding traffic, careless driving, improper or expired registration plates, fleeing or evading police, reckless driving, assault/domestic violence, two counts of trafficking in controlled substance methamphetamine, trafficking in controlled substance unspecified, two counts of drug paraphernalia, three counts of serving bench warrant for court, three counts of possession of controlled substance, possession of marijuana, three counts of complicity trafficking in controlled substance, possession of open alcoholic beverage in motor vehicle and fugitive.

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