NEWPORT—What began as a brief vehicle pursuit for the Newport Police Department ended abruptly after the male driver jumped from a 25-foot embankment and into the river on Wednesday, Sept. 5. The male was treated at Newport Medical Center and released.

Newport Police Officials identified the male as James R. Ball, 41, River Road. He was charged with unlawful removal of license plate, vandalism, violation of financial responsibility, driving while license revoked, reckless driving, reckless endangerment, fleeing to evade, stolen property, failure to appear (two counts) and failure to comply with child support.

Patrolman Chris Silvers said he was patrolling the area of Morrell Springs Road when he was notified to be on the look out for a white Chrysler van that fled from Patrolman Brandon Cassady.

Ptl. Silvers said he saw the suspected vehicle, with Ball as the driver, turn onto Lower Quarry Road. Ptl. Silvers attempted to conduct a traffic stop.

At that time, Ball turned into a driveway and continued to travel through the yard before striking a fence and then a tree.

According to the report, Ball exited the vehicle and climbed on top of the van.

Ptl. Silvers said he gave orders for Ball to come down, however, Ball jumped into a brush pile and then down a 25-foot embankment into the river near East Broadway and Highway 73.

Several officers surrounded the area before locating Ball, who was still in the river.

Ball was detained and transported to the Newport Medical Center for treatment. He was released hours later and taken to the Cocke County Jail Annex.

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