By Kim West
The Limestone County Sheriff’s Office arrested an Ardmore man early Sunday after he led police on two high-speed chases in excess of 150 miles per hour in Tennessee and Alabama.
Robert Eugene Poole, 39, of 25026 7th St., Ardmore, was arrested at 2:08 a.m. Sunday near the U.S. 31 exit off I-65 north of Athens, said Ardmore police Officer Shawn Posey on Monday.
Athens Police Chief Floyd Johnson confirmed Monday that Athens officers used road spikes to end the chase.
“As I understand it, Ardmore actually started the chase, and the county picked it up. We just managed to spike (Poole), and we’re just glad to assist the other agencies without anyone getting hurt,” Johnson said. “Sgt. Patrick Minor was able to spike the vehicle, and it traveled about 2 miles before the air from the tires completely deflated.”
Limestone sheriff’s Lt. Jay Stinnett said Poole fled briefly on foot before being arrested without further resistance.
“We picked up the chase around the state line and went from I-65 to the Alabama 251 overpass,” Stinnett said. “When the car stopped, (officers) chased him a little on foot but it wasn’t that far from the roadway, and he didn’t resist arrest when they caught him.”
Posey said the first high-speed pursuit began when Ardmore dispatch received a call at 10:59 p.m. Saturday that Poole was staking out his own residence.
Posey said Poole wanted to meet Ardmore Police Sgt. Tracy Luna at Ardmore High School, but then changed his mind and decided instead to talk to officers by phone.
“(Poole) stated he was drinking, and that if the police came after him he would take off,” Posey said. “On the phone, he did state that he had four weapons in his vehicle, including pistols and assault rifles.”
When Posey got behind Poole’s red 2004 Pontiac GTO near the intersection of Alabama 53 and Harris Loop Road at 11:40 p.m. Saturday, the officer said Poole “took off at 150 miles per hour-plus.” The second chase started at 1:53 a.m. Sunday near the state line, and ended 15 minutes later just north of Athens.
Ardmore Police pursued Poole for nearly 20 minutes until near exit 27 on I-65 northbound in Tennessee. Posey said law enforcement in Murray and Williamson counties in Tennessee also chased Poole, who again contacted Ardmore Police while refueling in Brentwood, Tenn., and said he would only turn himself in to Luna.
“Sgt. Luna set up at the Chevron at Exit 1 on the interstate, and Mr. Poole came and stopped in the middle of the road and then fled again on I-65 southbound,” Posey said. “Limestone County fell into the chase and Limestone County and Athens city (police) got him spiked roughly around the 65/31 exit going into Athens, where he was apprehended (at 2:08 a.m. Sunday) and taken to the Limestone County Jail.”
Jail officials said Poole, who faces more than 20 charges in Alabama and Tennessee, posted $4,500 bail at 4:30 p.m. Sunday. The Sheriff’s Office charged Posey with DUI, driving with a suspended driver’s license, reckless driving, speeding, attempting to elude police, improper lane usage and driving with an open container.
Posey said Tennessee charges include reckless endangerment, felony evading, failure to stop at a stop sign, failure to signal, driving with a revoked license and following too closely.
Posey said Poole faces six charges in Ardmore, including speeding 70 miles over the limit, attempting to elude officers and having improper lights. Despite Poole’s claims to be heavily armed, Posey and Stinnett said no weapons were found when he was apprehended.