HUNTINGDON, Tenn. — A car that was stolen last month in Ford County was recovered and its driver arrested following a high-speed chase Thursday night in Tennessee.
The Huntingdon (Tenn.) Police Department said the light-green 2009 Toyota Camry XLE was being driven by Giovanni Parenti, 23, of McKenzie, Tenn., who remained Friday at the Carroll County Jail on a $9,000 bond.
Parenti allegedly stole the vehicle on Sept. 24 in Gibson City while visiting a family member there. Then, after the car was recovered in Rantoul two days later, Parenti allegedly stole the car again on Sept. 28 as it was parked in its owner’s driveway in Paxton. A key to the car was believed to still be in Parenti’s possession.
Huntingdon police officer Shelton Moon said in an incident report that around 10:51 p.m. Thursday, he began to follow the car after he saw it traveling at 55 mph in a 35-mph speed zone.
When Moon activated his lights, Parenti tried to flee, reaching speeds in excess of 100 mph, Moon said. Because the car was leaving city limits, area police agencies were notified to assist.
As the chase ensued on Highway 70, Parenti allegedly ran a horse and buggy off the road and nearly struck a semi-trailer head-on, Moon said.
“At this time, we reached speeds of 120 mph,” Moon said in the report.
As the pursuit entered the town of Hollow Rock, Parenti was driving on the wrong side of the road and at one point swerved at Moon’s patrol car. He then drove between two squad cars that were attempting to stop him, Moon said.
Parenti then turned into an abandoned lot and hit a ditch, which flattened the car’s tires. Parenti then exited the vehicle and fled on foot before Moon was eventually able to apprehend him.
After arresting Parenti, Moon determined that the car had been stolen out of Illinois. The car also had stolen license plates.
“I asked the driver why he ran, (and) he stated that he had warrants and that the car was stolen,” Moon said.
There were three others in the vehicle besides Parenti. Parenti told police that the others were unaware that the car was stolen.
Parenti was charged with theft of property ($1,000 to $10,000), reckless endangerment, evading arrest, speeding and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.