TOP PHOTO: This is the Chevy snub nose truck, reported stolen, that police say Josh Blair drove while leading officers on a chase Tuesday afternoon.
JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – A Clinton man remains housed this morning in the Campbell County Jail facing multiple charges stemming from a wild and dangerous event that began around 4:30pm Tuesday and ended with his arrest, without incident, just after 2pm on Friday.
“This arrest is due to the hard work of our deputies and the great relationships we have built over the years with other law enforcement agencies,” said Sheriff Robbie Goins.
Arrested was 31-year-old Joshua “Josh” Neil Blair of Clinton. He was charged with violation of probation, a hold for Morgan County, a hold for Anderson County, assault on a first responder or nurse, aggravated assault on a first responder or nurse and attempted criminal homicide.
On Tuesday, a Campbell County Deputy, traveling along the General Carl Stiner Highway/Highway 63, east of La Follette, saw a Chevrolet rollback truck that had been reported stolen. The deputy initiated a traffic stop, and the man behind the wheel, Josh Blair, refused to exit and drove off. A pursuit began traveling through several fields up the valley before Blair returned to the road. According to a report from the sheriff’s office, Blair then put the rollback in reverse and repeatedly rammed police cruisers. The pursuit continued into Claiborne County where Blair abandoned the truck in a field and fled on foot.
The pursuit became a manhunt as Sheriff Goins and his team hunted for Blair for nearly 72 hours. They relied on the assistance of multiple agencies including the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office and the Tennessee Highway Patrol’s Helicopter Unit.
During the investigation, detectives with the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office received a tip about Blair’s identity. Blair was taken into custody Friday afternoon near Big O’s while he sat in a car. The woman who was with him at the time of the apprehension had just gone in to buy a drink at Big O’s when officers made their move.
Blair allegedly said the chase started because he had a “loaded needle in his seat, and he knew he was going to jail.” Blair said his use of Heroin leads to blackouts, and he had no recollection of the chase. He allegedly told police he only remembers waking up in the woods later that night. Blair confessed to Tuesday’s crimes.
Blair is being held without bond and will be arraigned Monday in general sessions court at the Campbell County Courthouse. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/02/2022-11AM)