Suspect faces numerous charges after hitting Loudon County deputy during chase
 
LOUDON (WATE) - A man is facing numerous charges, including attempted second degree murder, after stealing two cars and running into a deputy Friday.

According to Loudon County Detective Brian Jenkins, Rufus Ragland was arrested and booked in the Loudon County jail Friday night.

Ragland is accused of leading THP and Loudon County deputies on a chase that began with a stolen rental Chevy Tahoe.

According to Detective Jenkins, Ragland stopped at a Weigel's off of I-75, got out of the Tahoe and jumped into another Tahoe before speeding off.

Ragland then ran over one officer before hitting another deputies cruiser causing the deputies to fire off several shots.

THP stopped the vehicle a short-time later by forcing it off the road that it was traveling the wrong way on.

The deputy injured has been released from the hospital with what Jenkins described as a serious concussion.

Ragland faces two counts of aggravated assault, one count of attempted second degree murder, drug and weapon charges, and numerous traffic violations.


Police release name of suspect who stole two vehicles and lead authorities on a chase

LOUDON, Tenn. (WVLT) -- An East Tennessee community is still reeling after their weekend got off to a dangerous start.

Officials say charges are pending against Rufus Ragland, after he allegedly stole a couple of cars and injured a deputy in a chase.

"I still don't even know. I'm just kinda, It doesn't feel real," witness Amber Hawk said.

Hawk and a friend had just pulled up next door to the Weigel's on Highway 72 Friday evening.

"I heard the gunshot, and I got out at Wendy's and we were just standing there, about to walk over there," she said.

Police say Ragland had just abandoned a stolen SUV and stole another truck, parked at the gas station. The suspect rammed a patrol car and took off through the woods, as a deputy shot at the vehicle.

"By the time we got over there, they were taping everything off, and then we saw an officer take off in the direction of Matlock Bend," Hawk said.

The corner of Matlock Bend and Highway 72 is where the chase ended. Loudon police say a THP Trooper purposefully crashed into the truck Ragland was in, allowing them to finally catch him.

Samantha Melton lives near the crash scene and says it was a scary afternoon.

"My mom was right in the middle of it, so I can only know what was going through her head. Of course, I thought about my family, and my fiancÚ," she said.

Police say when they searched the stolen SUV, they found marijuana, crack cocaine and a handgun with the serial number filed-off.

"Lord, I just can't believe I was there. Just kinda, still have an adrenaline rush about it," Hawk said.

A deputy was taken to the hospital Friday after he was hit. The Sheriff's Office says he's back home and he's in good spirits.

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8/25/14