Police search for felon who put lives in danger during pursuit

Erinn Echols (Courtesy: Gallatin Police Department)

GALLATIN, Tenn. (WKRN) – Gallatin police are on the lookout for a felon who put people in danger when police tried to stop him for a simple misdemeanor.

It started Tuesday afternoon as officers drove up to 20-year-old Erinn Echols, who was parked at the Mister Car Wash on Nashville Pike.

A body cam shows Officer Darren Rager approaching the car. That’s when the car suddenly backed up and Rayger shouted for Echols to stop, but he took off.

The officer pursued the driver as he drove dangerously through the parking lot.

The video also showed Echols flying by three cars at a stop sign and whipping into oncoming traffic. The officer followed as Echols accelerated down the shoulder of the road.

In the video, Echols is seen driving across three lanes of traffic and through an intersection with speeds approaching 80 mph, which is almost twice the legal limit.

That’s when Rayger’s supervisor terminated the pursuit.

“The risk to the public far outweighed us apprehending him,” explained Lt. Ricky Troup.

Photo: WKRN
Photo: WKRN

Police say Echols was accused of taking part in a crime at the Mister Car Wash two weeks earlier. He was reportedly caught on surveillance video as he walked into the main office, put his hand in the till, and stole $58.

“If he had stopped when the officer told him to stop, he’d get a ticket for misdemeanor theft, but he turned misdemeanor theft into felony offense,” Lt. Troup told News 2.

Because of this dangerous driving, Echols is wanted for multiple felonies, including evading arrest and reckless driving. He is known to live at the Chapel Ridge Apartments in Gallatin, but could be staying in the north Nashville area.

Investigators say Echols was arrested last year for resisting arrest and drug possession.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts should call the Gallatin Police Department at 615-452-1313.