Officer-involved crash results from domestic call Saturday night in Unicoi


Chris Wilson

UNICOI, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Town of Unicoi Police Department arrested Chris Wilson, 38, of Johnson City Saturday night for aggravated domestic assault, violation of an order of protection, evading arrest in a motor vehicle, resisting arrest, and reckless driving. 

Officials said Unicoi Police were dispatched to 106 Buffalo Mountain Lane at around 9:30 p.m. Saturday after a report of domestic disturbance involving Wilson.

According to reports, the suspect also had an order of protection filed against him by the victim in May.

Sgt. Aaron Embler was on his way to the call when he was notified by Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department that the suspect was traveling southbound on Unicoi Drive at a rate of speed estimated to exceed 70 MPH, according to the police report.

After identifying a red, four-door sedan matching the reported description, Sgt. Embler attempted to stop the vehicle. Reports indicated that Wilson gave chase and struck another car at the intersection of Unicoi Drive and Highway 173 before coming to a stop.

Wilson then put his vehicle in reverse and rammed the Unicoi Police cruiser which had pulled in to block the suspect’s escape, the police report released.

Embler drew his weapon as he shouted commands for the suspect to get out of the vehicle, but Wilson verbally refused. Embler was able to remove Wilson from the vehicle and take him into custody at the crash scene without further incident, the report detailed.

Wilson was transported to the Erwin Police Department, where he blew a .26 on a breathalyzer test, prior to being taken to the Unicoi County Jail for booking.

“I’m just thankful no one was seriously hurt,” said Town of Unicoi Police Chief Andy Slagle said in a press release. “Sgt. Embler did an amazing job getting this dangerous guy off our streets and that’s what’s important our citizens’ safety.” 

The Tennessee Highway Patrol, which responded to assist with an officer-involved accident, also filed charges against Wilson including driving under the influence and driving on a revoked/suspended license, the release said.

“I also can’t thank the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department and the Tennessee Highway Patrol enough for all their help,” said Chief Slagle. “It’s really nice to know we have such great support from our neighboring forces.”

Officers Erwin and Elliott investigated the domestic disturbance report and ensured the victim’s safety until the suspect was apprehended, the report said.

The Unicoi Volunteer Fire Department assisted with traffic control during the incident.

“It’s always a team effort out here,” said Sgt. Aaron Embler. “We have a great group of officers, firefighters, troopers, and investigators, and it takes all of us working together to keep the roads and community safe.”

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