Authorities have apprehended an 18-year-old man who managed to escape capture after leading state and local authorities on a high-speed chase in a stolen truck Tuesday afternoon in Rutherford County, following an eight-hour search.
David A. Cousino, who was recently released from jail on an unrelated charge, was arrested at about 9 p.m. at his father’s house on Partridge Court in Smyrna, according to officials with the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
A probable cause search had been conducted at the Smyrna residence earlier in the day after authorities received word that someone had picked up Cousino, who had managed to slip through a police perimeter, and taken him there.
However, Cousino had already fled from the Smyrna home when they arrived.
“We obtained warrants for Cousino’s arrest and returned to his father’s house to apprehend him,” said state trooper Bill Fitzgerald, who initiated the pursuit of Cousino on U.S. Route 840 just before 1 p.m.
Cousino is accused of a going on a daylong crime spree, which began when he allegedly stole a truck from a home in Smyrna just after 6:30 a.m.
He has been charged with felony theft, evading arrest and reckless driving, as well as possession of a legend drug without a prescription, according to booking records on file at the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office.
“I was patrolling the area when I spotted a (stolen) truck going 92 miles per hour and initiated a traffic stop,” Fitzgerald said. “When the driver did not stop, I initiated the pursuit and notified Highway Patrol dispatchers and the Sheriff’s Office.”
Sheriff’s Office deputies and officers with the Smyrna Police Department also responded to the area to assist in the pursuit, as well as the subsequent search and apprehension.
Fitzgerald said Cousino, who was accompanied by another 18-year-old man, began driving at a high rate of speed, as he veered onto Medical Center Parkway heading toward the Blackman community in Murfreesboro – an area that is usually congested.
“We were very lucky that there was not a lot of traffic because he reached speeds of almost 100 mph on Blackman Road,” Fitzgerald said, adding the chase continued through the Blackman community until the pair crashed on Baker Road near the intersection of Old Nashville Highway.
“Both men jumped out of the vehicle on Baker Road and ran into a thick area of woods with high brush,” he said.
All three agencies worked together to set up a perimeter, he said.
“We quickly captured the passenger who was very cooperative – scared but helpful,” he said, noting the man was unaware that the truck had been stolen earlier in the day.
Fitzgerald said the other man’s identity is being withheld because he is not facing any charges in connection with the incident.
Cousino is being held on a $12,000 bond at the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center.
He is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on the theft and drug charges Thursday, Oct. 11, in Smyrna General Sessions Court.
Proceedings on the other charges involving the Highway Patrol have been set for Friday, Dec. 7, in Rutherford County General Sessions Court.