AIRVIEW, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Fairview police officer is lucky to be alive after a traffic stop where he got in a fight and was dragged down the road.
The traffic stop happened early Saturday morning and resulted in a county-wide manhunt in Williamson County.
It began Saturday morning around 4:20 a.m. when Officer Terry Amonette stopped a Nissan X-Terra for a lane violation.
Dash cam reveals the gritty rest of the story as the K-9 officer approaches the car and detects the odor of marijuana.
“How much marijuana is in the car, has been in the car?” Amonette is heard saying.
Driver Andrew Kerznar denies he has drugs. The 34-year-old also reportedly doesn’t have his license and claims he’s on his way to Louisiana.
Officer Amonette gets Kerznar out of the vehicle and tells him, “Once you’re in that car, I’m checking your name and your date of birth, ok?”
Later in the video, Officer Amonette tries to place Kerznar in the back of the squad car, but the Florida man resists.
“We’re not negotiating. You are going to get in the back of that car,” Amonette is heard saying.
Soon there’s a scuffle that crosses the front of the car and ends up in the road.
You can see Officer Amonette behind the suspect, but as the two get to the highway, the man escapes the officer and runs to his car, jumping in and starting it up.
The video shows Amonette giving chase, leaning in the window, and turning the car off.
Soon Kerznar puts the car in reverse with the officer hanging on, ultimately smashing the front of the police cruiser.
You can’t see Officer Amonette, but he is literary inside the X-Terra fighting the man for over a minute.
Suddenly, the suspect backs into the cruiser again then punches it forward.
The 44-year-old officer is being dragged behind the car, the wheels of the fleeing vehicle missing his legs and torso by inches.
The video shows the husband and father-of-three rolling violently on the concrete, hitting his head at least once.
What happens next is very unexpected. The suspect, for some reason, stops on the side of the road while the officer lays on the shoulder, dazed and confused.
Fifteen seconds later, two good Samaritans emerge from the darkness to help Officer Amonette.
One of them opens fire, reportedly shooting at the suspect who drives away.
Not knowing who the men are, the dazed officer orders the men to drop the gun.
Police now tell News 2 the gunman identifies himself as an active duty staff sergeant in the Army.
The men tell Amonette the suspect drove away, and that’s when the officer runs to his squad car and orders the sergeant to pick up his weapon before driving after the suspect.
According to City Manager Scott Collins, Kerznar was missing for many hours until a patron in a Mapco, a scanner enthusiast named Jerry Yergan, spotted him as he was reportedly asking for directions.
Yergan called 911 and soon Fairview police cornered the felon and took him into custody.
The good news is Officer Amonette suffered some road rash but no major injuries.
Why the suspect took off remains unknown. Police told News 2 he has a long history of arrests and violence.
In all the confusion, the identity of the good Samaritans was never obtained.
Fairview police hope that anyone with information on the men who came to Officer Amonette’s aid will give them a call at 615-799-2431.Never miss another Facebook post from 8News.Find 8News on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram; send your news tips toiReport8@wric.com.