Florida man, who shot at W’burg police during vehicle chase Tuesday, has lengthy criminal history, court record shows
A Florida man, who lead numerous local police officers on a high-speed chase and allegedly shot at a police vehicle before being shot and crashing Tuesday afternoon, has a lengthy criminal record and had his bond raised significantly during his arraignment Thursday in Whitley District Court.
Thomas Earl Reynolds III, 28, of Apopka, Florida, pleaded not guilty during his video arraignment to a multitude of charges, including attempted murder of a police officer, receiving stolen property $10,000 or more, first-degree wanton endangerment of a police officer, second-degree persistent felony offender, convicted felon in possession of a handgun, and resisting arrest in one felony case.
In a second felony case filed in connection with the same incident, Reynolds pleaded not guilty to operating a motor vehicle while under the influence, first-degree fleeing or evading police, reckless driving, speeding 26 mph over limit, and no operator’s/moped license.
Whitley District Judge Cathy Prewitt approved a request by Commonwealth’s Attorney Allen Trimble to increase Reynolds bond from $25,000 cash to $250,000 cash or $500,000 worth of property.
Reynolds has a significant criminal history, which consists of 30 pages on a National Crime Information Center report, and has been arrested 25 times since April 4, 2007, Trimble wrote in the motion.
All of Reynolds prior arrests occurred in Orange County, Florida, the motion noted.
“The crimes for which the defendant is charged are of a very serious nature for which the defendant, if convicted, would serve at least 30 years,” Trimble wrote.
“The evidence of guilt is overwhelming involving multiple police officers, who will be witnesses for the Commonwealth. The defendant is a significant flight risk being that he has no known ties to either Whitley County or McCreary County and resides in the State of Florida.”
Prewitt appointed the public advocate’s office to represent Reynolds and scheduled a Nov. 20 preliminary hearing in his case.
The chase started about 3:05 p.m. Tuesday when Kentucky State Police Trooper Scott Bunch and Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Chris King attempted to stop a reckless driver on Ky. 92 in Williamsburg in a 2008 Dodge Charger.
Bunch was parked along Ky. 92W observing traffic when the Dodge Charger passed on the wrong side of the road at a high rate of speed, Bunch wrote on an arrest citation.
Bunch attempted a traffic stop in front of Grace Christian Church. Reynolds initially pulled over but drove away as Bunch approached the passenger side door, according to an arrest citation.
The chase then continued along Ky. 92 and then onto northbound I-75 at Exit 11.
Over half a dozen officers from several departments, including the Williamsburg Police Department and the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department joined the pursuit as it continued north towards Corbin.
The suspect’s vehicle got off the interstate near Exit 25.
Corbin police apparently joined the pursuit somewhere around this time period, and the chase soon looped back around to I-75 when Reynolds got back onto I-75 heading south towards Williamsburg.
Williamsburg Police Chief Wayne Bird said that one of his officers used spike strips to disable the suspect’s two front tires as the vehicle left the interstate at Exit 11. Williamsburg Police Lt. Jim Pool joined the chase at that point becoming the lead pursuit vehicle.
The suspect continued west on Highway 92, which is when Reynolds allegedly fired multiple shots with a handgun at police pursuing him, and struck Pool’s police vehicle twice in the hood and once with a round that went through the front windshield.
Pool returned fire multiple times striking Reynolds once.
The chase eventually ended about six miles west of Exit 11 near the Whitley-McCreary county line when Reynolds vehicle left the roadway, went into a ditch, and he was apprehended, according to a state police release and a court document.
Police later determined that Reynolds vehicle was stolen from Florida, according to the release.
No officers were injured during the pursuit.
No one was in the vehicle with the suspect.
Pool has been employed at the Williamsburg Police Department since 2007, and had prior law enforcement experience before that.
According to his arrest citation, Reynolds went through three work zones, ran about nine red lights and admitted to police that he had taken meth.
Reynolds was initially transported to Baptist Health Corbin and later flown to the University of Kentucky Medical Center for treatment of his gunshot wound, which was non-life threatening.
He was booked into the Whitley County Detention Center about 3:14 a.m. Wednesday.