THP trooper assaulted during routine traffic stop, suspect at large

Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Key

RACHEL TOWNSEND

rtownsend@stategazette.com

At approximately 7:35 a.m. Wednesday morning, a routine traffic stop ended with the assault of a THP officer.

According to Trooper Tony Freeze, 24-year-old Danielle L. Crittendon of Dyersburg was pulled over on Hwy. 51 -- south of Newbern -- after being clocked speeding 93 mph in a 60-mph zone. Upon approaching the car, Freeze says he immediately noticed a strong smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle, at which time he called Trp. Burrell to assist in a search of the vehicle, which yielded no results.

After the vehicle search, Freeze says Burrell, no longer needed, left the scene, and Freeze proceeded to issue a citation for speeding. At that time, Freeze noted that Crittendon had an 01 restriction on her license -- in order to drive the vehicle, she would need to be wearing corrective lenses.

When asked if she was wearing corrective lenses, Freeze says Crittendon explained to him that she was not, and was therefore deemed unable to operate the vehicle.

At that time, Crittendon’s passenger, 25-year-old Terris Tremayne Key, was asked to produce his license as to operate the vehicle in Crittendon’s stead.

Freeze says he presented Key with several opportunities to provide his accurate name, date of birth and Social Security number, however, Key allegedly continued to provide Freeze with information that, when cross-referenced with the NCIC database, produced inaccurate results.

“At one point, he asked to use my phone to call his mother,” said Freeze. “He said he couldn’t remember his Social Security number. I spoke with the woman, who he said was allegedly his mother, and walked back to my car to write down what she was saying. She provided me with yet another name and date of birth, so at that point I knew that what she was saying and what he was saying were both incorrect.

“I walked back to the car and was getting ready to charge him with criminal impersonation because he wouldn’t give me his correct identity. He [Key] stepped out of the car as I was explaining to him that he was going to be placed under arrest. When I placed my hands on him, he turned and pulled away from me and we ended up on the ground.”

After a brief fight on the ground, Freeze says Key allegedly jumped up and ran around the back of the THP patrol car.

“He was trying to get inside of my patrol car, but, luckily, the doors were locked at that point,” explained Freeze. “When he couldn’t get into my car he tried jumping back into her [Crittendon] car, telling her ‘Go, go, go!’ I was able to block his entrance into her car, so he tried to, once again, get into my patrol car, but it was still locked.”

After another failed attempt to allegedly gain access inside of the patrol car, Freeze says that Key reportedly fled east on foot toward Church Grove Rd.

With no backup present, Freeze remained behind to detain Crittendon.

Upon arrest, Crittendon allegedly informed Freeze of 2.9 oz. of marijuana, which was hidden on her person.

Crittendon was arrested and charged with simple possession.

Currently, Key remains at large and is wanted on current charges including: assault of a law enforcement officer and evading and resisting arrest.

In addition, Key is wanted on pre-existing charges of parole violation.

Anyone with any information resulting in the arrest of Key is asked to contact the Dyer County Sheriff’s Dept. at: 731.285.2802 or CRIMESTOPPERS at: 731.285.8477.

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  • Trooper Freeze goofed up; he should have kept backup there until he was finished.

    -- Posted by lloyd49 on Wed, Dec 13, 2017, at 7:33 PM
  • He should have kept back-up until the stop was completed. This could have ended badly. When considering the moral turpitude of the times, it is best the law enforcement take nothing for granted and leave no stone unturned. To most officers, the job/career is a means to provide for their families and secure retirement benefits for the future. At the end of the day, the main goal is the deter crime and make it home safely at the end of the shift. Some people that have nothing to lose will do anything and won’t think twice about it. Err on the side of caution.

    -- Posted by SSADM08 on Thu, Dec 14, 2017, at 12:11 AM
  • Yep, as I oft heard driving trucks, "Only thing it takes less sense to do than drive a truck is be a cop".

    -- Posted by truthseeker53 on Thu, Dec 14, 2017, at 5:47 AM
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