Highway 75 chase and hostage situation ends with no injuries
April 5, 2017
Southern Torch (3842 articles)

Highway 75 chase and hostage situation ends with no injuries

PHOTO: A man broke into a residence in Sylvania and took two hostages on Tuesday night, leading police on a high-speed chase that ended in Henagar. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor


SYLVANIA, Ala. — At approximately 7:15 pm on Tuesday, the Sylvania Police Department responded to call on Carissa Road in Sylvania. Police had received reports from a neighbor that a man had broken into a residence and taken his father and ex-girlfriend hostage. The man fled in a grey, four door truck once he realized that the police had been called by the neighbor.

Upon reaching Highway 75, the suspect’s vehicle was spotted by an off-duty officer from the Fyffe Police Department who began the pursuit. The suspect fled east on Highway 75 with the two hostages, with law enforcement in pursuit.

The chase reached speeds exceeding 80 mph on Highway 75, entering the Henagar City limits; even passing by the city park while little league baseball was in full swing. The vehicle came to a stop in front of the old Texaco (Now Swifty Mart) gas station in Henagar, at the intersection of Highway 75 and 40.

Henagar police and the off-duty officer from Fyffe confronted the suspect in front of the Texaco, who was eventually taken into custody. The two hostages were unharmed, although emergency medical services were called as one hostage suffered a seizure after the incident was concluded.

Joseph Scott Pannell, 38 of Sylvania, was charged with Violation of Domestic Violence Order, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Criminal Mischief.

Investigators believes that Pannell was smoking marijuana before the incident, and wanted to commit, “suicide by cop,” or committing suicide by forcing police to kill him.

When investigators asked why he went to the gas station in Henagar, Pannell reportedly stated that he wanted, “one more beer before the cops kill him.”

Southern Torch

Southern Torch


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