A Maryville man is facing four felony charges after Blount County deputies said he fled from an attempted traffic stop early Monday, Aug. 2.

Austin Dean Payne, 26, Honeysuckle Road, is charged with three counts of reckless endangerment and one of evading arrest. He is being held in lieu of bonds totaling $20,000 pending a 9 a.m. hearing Aug. 9 in Blount County General Sessions Court.

The pursuit ended when a deputy struck the rear quarter panel of the car Payne was driving with the front of his vehicle in a PIT (pursuit intervention technique) maneuver on Leslie Lane. According to the Blount County Sheriff’s Office report, Payne overcorrected several times, lost control and the vehicle went into a ditch on the opposite side of the roadway, rolling on its top before coming to a stop.

Payne was treated and released at Blount Memorial Hospital before deputies took him to jail.

A woman who was riding in the vehicle with Payne said they were simply turning around in the Cedar Point Church parking lot when the deputy first saw them, and she told Payne to stop and not run. She was released with no charges.

The deputy reported it was about 12:08 a.m. when he saw the car pull out of the church parking lot, raising suspicion because the church was closed, the vehicle left when he arrived in a patrol vehicle and there have been numerous catalytic converter thefts in the area.

After observing the car on several streets in the area, the deputy activated his lights and pulled it over on William Blount Drive, but said when he tapped the passenger window with a flashlight, Payne drove off.

With deputies in pursuit, the car passed on the wrong side of an SUV, according to the report, before the stop on Leslie Lane. The reckless endangerment charges are based on the possible danger to the deputy, the woman in the car and society, according to the BCSO report.

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