Woman apologizes to Ashland City officer after reportedly stealing police car

Zahnaee Chaney at the time of her arrest in August 2017. (Photo: WKRN)

ASHLAND CITY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A woman accused of stealing an Ashland City police car is apologizing to the officer whose vehicle she stole.

It all started Monday night as a shoplifting call in Ashland City ended 15 miles away in Bordeaux.

One minute the woman was under arrest, in handcuffs and in the back of the police car, and the next, she’s behind the wheel of the car escaping.

Handcuffed and shackled, with tears pouring down her cheeks, Zahnaee Chaney told News 2 her life is spiraling out of control because of drugs and alcohol.

Jerome Jenkins (Courtesy: Ashland City Police Department)

“Silly, because I did that,” she said.

Chaney said she and her friend, Jerome Jenkins, were stopped around 6:30 p.m. at the Walmart on Highway 12 for shoplifting. The 20-year-old said she was walking out with Jenkins and didn’t realize he had stolen items from the store. She said she was intoxicated and frustrated at the time.

She and Jenkins were both placed in handcuffs and put in the back of separate squad cars, but Chaney though was somehow able to get her handcuffs in front of her.

“I twisted my hands around and undid it,” she recalled.

While tearing apart the in-car camera system, Chaney got behind the wheel of the police car and drove away with the blue lights still activated.

“I didn’t know that [the lights were activated] actually,” she said. “I didn’t know that.”

Ashland City police did not give chase, but they did get on the radio and warn Metro police, saying, “That female just took my patrol car and took off. Be advised in case anyone is not clear she stole my patrol car.”

Chaney ditched the car about 15 miles later in the Bordeaux area and ran wildly toward Bill Tomlinson, a longtime bail bondsman.

“The fight was on,” Tomlinson said. “She bit my arm. Under the influence of something, she was a rascal to get down.”

Chaney was taken into custody and charged with shoplifting, theft of a motor vehicle, evading arrest destruction of government property and driving on a revoked license.

“I apologize to you, and to the Ashland City police officers,” she said. “That won’t happen no more, hopefully I will not be down here for that to happen again. I really apologize. I do.”

Chaney said she has been battling drugs and alcohol addiction since she was 14 years old.