HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Police continue to search for two suspects who escaped a multi-county police pursuit on Sunday after fleeing the scene on foot.

According to a report from the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), police pursued a 2022 Nissan Altima with a Florida license plate on 11W in Mount Carmel due to a “possible drug investigation.” The pursuit reached west Kingsport and ended when the sedan left the roadway and hit a curb, disabling the vehicle, according to the report.

Police arrested the driver, but two suspects — a male passenger and female passenger — reportedly fled the scene on foot. Officers believe they have a “significant amount of drugs in a backpack.”

Leslie Ashmore (PHOTO: HCSO)

The arrest report identified the driver as Leslie Howard Ashmore, 55, of Kingsport. He allegedly attempted to flee as well, but officers arrested him after a “brief foot chase.” The arresting officer wrote in the report that he “was able to get [Ashmore] into custody with the help of a passerby.”

Officers found a loaded handgun in the vehicle, along with a glass pipe believed to be paraphernalia for methamphetamine and three small clear plastic baggies. A systems check revealed Ashmore had had his driver’s license previously revoked, and he is also a convicted felon.

Ashmore was charged with the following:

  • Evading arrest by a vehicle
  • Evading arrest by foot
  • Drug possession
  • Possession of a firearm by a felon
  • Driving on a revoked license
  • Resisting arrest

Anyone with information regarding the suspects’ whereabouts should call central dispatch at 423-272-7121 to pass the tips on to Deputy Ricky Begley.