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Stop Sticks and Teamwork End Three-County Pursuit With Arrest of West Jefferson Man

Ashe County Sheriff B. Phil Howell announces the arrest of Jeremy Arlee Scism at the conclusion of a vehicle pursuit that spanned three counties and two states.

At approximately 10:15 P.M. on Tuesday, April 27, 2021, Ashe County 911 Dispatch received a call from the Johnson County (Tenn.) Sheriff’s Office advising that their agency, along with a Trooper from the Tennessee Highway Patrol, were in pursuit of a 2001 Subaru Forester traveling from Tennessee and headed into Ashe County.

Deputies from the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office and officers from the West Jefferson and Jefferson Police Departments immediately responded to assist the Tennessee officers. While Ashe County units were en route to the pursuit, the driver of the suspect vehicle entered Watauga County where deputies of the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office joined in on the chase.

Eventually, the fleeing vehicle, with Watauga County and Tennessee officers still in pursuit, came back into Ashe County where Ashe County deputies took the lead in the chase. Lt. Joe Francis successfully deployed a controlled tire deflation device (commonly known as Spike Strips) taking out the Subaru’s left front tire. Shortly thereafter, Officer Mike Miller of the West Jefferson Police Department used a similar device to deflate the vehicle’s right front tire. 

The deployment of the tire deflation devices were successful in slowing and partially disabling the fleeing vehicle, however, the driver continued fleeing with two flat tires. With the pursuit headed towards the more populated area of the town of West Jefferson, Chief Deputy Danny K. Houck authorized Lt. Francis to attempt a vehicle disabling technique using his patrol car’s push bar. 

Lt. Francis made intentional contact with his push bar to the rear end of the fleeing vehicle, immediately disabling the suspect’s vehicle and bringing the chase to a safe end. Once stopped, officers from multiple agencies were able to take the driver, later identified as Jeremy A. Scism, of West Jefferson, into custody without incident or injury.

Scism’s vehicle was seized under North Carolina’s “Run & You’re Done” law with the proceeds from the eventual sale of the car going to the Ashe County Schoolboard.

Additionally, investigators have requested the District Attorney’s Office to seek an indictment of Scism as a Habitual Felon Offender.

Scism, 32, was charged with Flee/Elude Arrest with a Motor Vehicle, Fail to Heed Light and Siren, Aggressive Driving, Driving While License Revoked, Carrying a Concealed Weapon, and Possession of Marijuana up to ½ oz.

Scisim is being held in the Ashe County Detention Center with no bond and is currently under a hold for charges pending out of Tennessee.