Timothy Edward Barnes

Details released on FBI chase that led deputies through Dayton and Spring City

More details about the arrest of a man wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Rhea County on Friday have been released after Timothy Edward Barnes, 52, of Japser, Ga., led sheriff’s deputies on a high speed chase through Dayton and Spring City.

The chase began in Bledsoe County on Friday, when federal agents spotted Barnes and attempted to take him into custody for allegedly trafficking methamphetamine, according to reports. The subsequent chase led authorities through Bledsoe, Cumberland and Rhea counties.

At around 11:30 a.m. on Friday, central dispatch notified deputies with the Rhea County Sheriff’s Department that the FBI was in pursuit of Barnes, that he was leading federal agents into Rhea County and that they had lost sight of his vehicle.

Rhea County Sheriff’s Department [RCSD] Deputy Davin Payne wrote in his arrest report that dispatch said Barnes was last seen traveling south on Rhea County Highway.

Eventually, Payne said that RCSD Deputy Wayne Wilkey found Barnes driving on Walnut Grove Church Road in Dayton

“Deputy Wilkey advised that the vehicle was traveling at a very high rate of speed,” Payne said. “[Rhea County] Sheriff Mike Neal advised that he was behind the vehicle as well. It had turned around and was heading in the direction of White Oak Road and Oak Hill Road.”

Payne said that he was at the intersection of White Oak Road and Oak Hill Road and when Barnes reached that location, he nearly hit Payne’s patrol car head on. Payne said he joined in the chase, which eventually led to Rhea County Highway with Barnes heading north toward Spring City.

“Sheriff Neal advised me to get ahead of [Barnes], and the vehicle traveled north on Highway 27 at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour,” Payne said.

North of Spring City, at around the 31000 block of Rhea County Highway, Payne said that Barnes swerved to hit a deputy’s patrol car, went into the southbound lane and into a field.

Barnes’ vehicle eventually traveled through a field and came to a stop in a nearby creek, Payne said.

“At this time, myself, deputy Wayne Wilkey, deputy Jesse Wilkey and deputy Jessie Ailey started a track with the blood hound,” Payne said. “After several minutes of tracking through the woods Timothy Barnes was found.”

Barnes was handcuffed and taken to Rhea Medical Center to check for any injuries and was later booked into the Rhea County Jail.

In addition to the federal charges, in Rhea County, Barnes is facing charges of driving on a revoked license, evading arrest, reckless endangerment and evading arrest by motor vehicle.

He will also likely face charges in Bledsoe County, as Barnes has been wanted by the Bledsoe County Sheriff’s Office earlier this month. On July 5, the Bledsoe County Sheriff’s Office posted on its Facebook page that Barnes was wanted for hitting a  patrol car as deputies were attempting to arrest him.