Anderson County man charged with carjackings, fleeing police

Justin Welch (source: Anderson County Sheriff's Office)

CLINTON (WATE) – An Anderson County man faces a long list of charges after he allegedly carjacked two vehicles, tried to carjack a third and then fled from police.

Justin Wade Welch, 30, faces a dozen charges including robbery, vehicular assault, carjacking, resisting arrest and driving on a suspended or revoked license.

Police were first called to Clinton Towers, 150 N. Charles Seivers Boulevard, on March 30. A woman said she and her sister had been approached by a man as she was getting into a car. She said the man started assaulting the woman and tried to physically pull her out.

She said after getting behind the wheel of the car, the man, later identified as Welch, put it in reverse and hit her sister who had just exited the car. She was taken to Methodist Medical Center.

A short time later, officers were called to the nearby Food City where they say Welch tried to carjack someone else, but ended up in an altercation with the car’s owner. The car taken from Clinton Towers was found in the parking lot.

Welch ran off and managed to take someone else’s car in a violent confrontation on Highland Drive. The owner said she was inside her car with the motor running when Welch came up and yelled for her to get out. She said Welch grabbed her by the arm and threw her into the yard. A neighbor saw what happened and grabbed a gun while Welch appeared to be driving toward the car owner, who was still on the ground.

The neighbor started yelling at Welch and he sped off in the car.

Moments later, Anderson County deputies spotted the car on Sulphur Springs Road. It then sped off onto Carroll Hollow Road and deputies gave chase. The car continued onto Pop Hollow Road and then Spring Street. The car pulled into a driveway on Spring Street and Welch ran toward the rear of a house. Deputies ordered him to stop, but he did not, so they deployed a Taser.

A police report says Welch kept fighting the officers with his fists and was eventually taken to the Anderson County Detention Facility where he is still being held on $500,000 bond. His license had been suspended in Knox County for failure to pay fines.

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