SEVIERVILLE (WATE) – Two teens are in custody after a multi-county police chase Sunday night. They both appeared in Chattanooga court for arraignment Monday afternoon.
The Sevierville Police Department says the teens were 14 and 17 years old. They stole a white 15-passenger van from Smoky Mountain Children’s Home around 7:40 p.m. The suspects crashed the vehicle in Hamilton County.
The police chase started in Sevier County, but was disengaged when the van crossed into Knox County due to traffic and speeds reaching 100 miles per hour.
Both teens appeared in Chattanooga court for arraignment Monday afternoon. The Sevierville Police Department charged both teens with vehicle theft.
The executive director of the Smoky Mountain Children’s Home, Dr. Walt Mauldin, says his focus is the well-being of the teenagers involved.
“We’re like a family here, so when two of our family members run away it affects all of us. Because we care deeply for these young men, we really do.” Said Mauldin.
There are 76 children living on the 63-acre campus of the Smoky Mountain Children’s Home. Most of the children there are placed through the Tennessee Department of Children Services and are waiting to be placed in foster care or adopted. The children learn skills to get a job, a career, and an education.
“We’d hope that they would learn a valuable lesson about life and the importance of following rules and coming under the discipline that they’re supposed to be while here.” said Mauldin.
Mauldin says it’s still unclear if the teens will return to the Smoky Mountain Children’s Home, but if they do, they will get back where they left working on work, school and faith.