Rhea County man faces several charges after stealing several cars, driving one into TN River

Kendall Speegle_1557674705570.JPG.jpg

A Rhea County man is facing several charges after he steals multiple cars Saturday afternoon, including one that he drove into the Tennessee River, and led police on a chase. 

Kendall O’Neil Speegle was arrested and charged with multiple counts of aggravated burglary, theft over $10,000, felony evading arrest, felony reckless endangerment and several others.

Around noon on Saturday, deputies with the Rhea County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call of suspicious activity, possibly a burglary in progress, on Bob Long Road.

Upon arrival, deputies saw a white Chevrolet pickup truck drive through a closed garage door and fled the scene, while the homeowners were on their back porch. That vehicle belonged to the homeowners of the residence, deputies then gave chase the vehicle. The chase entering both Meigs and Hamilton County.

The suspect, later identified as Speegle, turned onto several side roads and eventually pulled behind a residence on Blythes Ferry Lane. The homeowners saw Speegle flee into a woodline nearby, carrying what appeared to be a long rifle.

At that time, deputies attempted to set up a perimeter around that location and waited for the arrival of K-9 tracking teams.

Speegle then went to another residence and kicked in the door and attempted to steal a vehicle. He was unsuccessful. However, he was eventually able to steal a blue Jeep. Speegle left the Jeep sitting in the road and traveled on foot on Knimbrough Lane. Speegle then stole a blue truck, which he eventually lost control of and crashed on Elder Hollow Road.

Speegle then attempted to steal an ATV by gunpoint but was unsuccessful. He did steal a Chevy Cruze a short time later. While in the Chevy Cruze, Speegle side swiped a truck and cause minor damage. He then drove the Cruze into the Tennessee River.

At this time, the Rhea County Marine Patrol as well as the Hamilton County Dive Team are searching for that vehicle.

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