A Newton County man, 37-year-old Timothy Len Shatwell of Mount Judea, has been arrested following a high-speed chase in which his vehicle reportedly was airborne multiple times.According to the probable cause affidavit filed Monday, a Newton County deputy attempted to make a traffic stop of Shatwell’s vehicle in Jasper on March 6. The deputy noted he had been advised Shatwell’s probation officer wanted the Newton County man placed in custody.
Shatwell fled onto State Highway 123, reportedly driving on the right shoulder of the highway and using his “primary drive tire to spin gravel and debris” onto the pursuing patrol unit twice.
He then reportedly slowed his vehicle to about 15 miles per hour while reaching his hand out the window dumping the contents of a black object.
The deputy attempted an unsuccessful pit maneuver and was joined by a fellow officer who was able to place his vehicle in front of Shatwell’s, as the two lawmen attempted to box in the suspect and force him into the ditch.
Shatwell allegedly sped toward the second deputy’s patrol unit, nearly striking it before veering into the oncoming traffic lane. He continued driving toward an oncoming vehicle for a few second before turning into the ditch at the “absolute last second.”
Shatwell’s vehicle continued traveling in the ditch for about 450 yards before going airborne twice, as it crossed driveways connecting to the highway. His vehicle went airborne a third time as it went back onto the roadway in front of one of the deputy’s patrol units.
The two deputies continued their pursuit that in the end would last about 21 minutes over 14 miles of both paved and gravel roads and a wet low water slab. Shatwell would again spin gravel at the patrol unit closest to him in an attempt to damage it and create a dust cloud that could potentially help him escape.
During the pursuit, Shatwell traveled through nine “dangerous” intersections without slowing down, signaling, or looking for oncoming traffic.
On Newton County Road 4860, Shatwell lost control of his vehicle and slid into a tree, deploying the car’s airbags. When the first deputy arrived, Shatwell was attempting to crawl out the passenger door of his vehicle. The deputy utilized the front of his patrol unit to pin the door shut and keep the suspect in the vehicle. With four deputies arriving at the scene, Shatwell struggled but was taken into custody.
The Newton County man allegedly told officers he had used an illegal substance earlier that day and fled because he knew he would be arrested.
Shatwell has been charged with two felony counts of aggravated assault, as well as single counts of fleeing in a vehicle and criminal mischief. He has also been charged with 10 misdemeanor counts. Bond was set at $10,000.
An inspection of the patrol unit nearest Shatwell in the pursuit indicated numerous spots on the front where rocks had dented the body and scratched the paint. The push bumper was damaged beyond repair, the grill was cracked in at least three places and equipment in the cab of the truck had become dislodged as a result of the pursuit and final impact.