A man accused of leading local police on a late-night car chase through Richmond streets and a field will have his case heard by a Madison County grand jury.

Tyrone Hartsfield, 31, of Kilkenny Drive in Lexington, is charged with fleeing or evading police, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, menacing, wanton endangerment, unlawful imprisonment, possession of a controlled substance, reckless driving, criminal mischief, tampering with physical evidence and failure to maintain automobile insurance.

Hartsfield was first spotted in the early morning hours of Aug. 27 by Richmond Police Officer Kurt Heatherton on patrol in the downtown area.

Spotting a gold Honda Accord occupied by a male and female parked close to the Home Lumber Company on North Third St., at 1:42 a.m., the officer stopped to investigate.

As he neared the car, the driver, later identified as Hartsfield, started the vehicle and despite Heatherton’s commands for him to stop, started to flee the scene, said RPD Sgt. Willard Reardon.

Moving away from the area, Hartsfield was next spotted traveling north on Red House Road by Officer Joe Johnson.

“Officer Johnson initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle and Hartsfield stopped in the driveway of 1509 Red House Road, but refused orders to turn off the vehicle and exit,” Reardon said.

Hartsfield then allegedly accelerated up the driveway of the home and around a barn located on the property, police said.

“The residents at the home were aroused by the commotion and advised officers that the vehicle was over a hill behind the barn and appeared to be stuck,” Reardon said.

Following the winding trail of the vehicle, officers observed that Hartsfield had driven through three wooden fences on the property — unleashing three horses as he crashed through — before becoming stuck on an embankment.

“Hartsfield was still in his vehicle when I walked up the embankment,” Johnson testified in district court Wednesday. “He was rocking the car back and forth on the embankment trying to get out.”

Hartsfield, who police say appeared to be “intoxicated and belligerent,” was taken into custody.

As he was being searched by police, money fell from Hartsfield’s pocket, police said.

“He stepped on the money and was rubbing it with his foot,” Reardon said. “When the money was retrieved by officers it was found to contain a small quantity of suspected cocaine.”

“In the money was a small yellow baggie with a yellowish substance inside,” Johnson said. “When it was tested, it was cocaine.”

The female who had been in Hartsfield’s car throughout the chase had made numerous requests to be let out of the vehicle, but Hartsfield had refused, police said.

“The charges of wanton endangerment and unlawful imprisonment stem from the fact that the female occupant of the car said she had asked Hartsfield to let her out of the car,” Johnson said.

The female occupant of the car was not charged with any offenses.

No one was injured in the incident and the damage was limited to the wooden fences and the suspect’s vehicle. The runaway livestock were not injured and were soon corralled.

Estimated damage to the fencing was in excess of $1,000, police said.

Hartsfield is lodged in the Madison County Detention Center on a $15,000 bond.

Heather Harris can be reached at hharris@richmondregister.com or by phone at 624-6694 or 893-2341.

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