Authorities are still looking for three men who allegedly robbed a Hopkinsville car dealership Monday afternoon and later slipped through a multi-agency manhunt.

Oak Grove police arrested one of the suspects, Joseph Marshall Brown, 23, of Hopkinsville, after the suspects ditched their car on Interstate 24, just outside Clarksville, Tenn., said Oak Grove Police Department spokesman Lt. Adam Vanderkolk.

Hopkinsville Police Chief Guy Howie said four men with handguns robbed AC Automotive at 1404 East Ninth St. on Monday.

Clarksville police spokesman Officer Jim Knoll said two men at the dealership were beaten with handguns during the robbery. After the robbers left the dealership, one of the men who was robbed ran to a grocery store across the street and called police at about 4:55 p.m.

“We got the call of the robbery, and our units responded,” Howie said. “We got a description of the vehicle and put out a BOLO — be on the lookout.”

Oak Grove Officer Mike Havens spotted a red Ford Focus that matched the description at 5:15 p.m. and followed it onto I-24 east, Vanderkolk said.

Havens waited for backup before trying to stop the suspects, who bailed out of the car shortly after crossing the Tennessee state line. Several shots were fired at the officer, Oak Grove Maj. Dennis Cunningham said. Havens returned fire, and all four suspects ran off into a wood line, Cunningham said.

Havens was not harmed, and he quickly apprehended one of the suspects, Cunningham said. However, the other three disappeared into the wood line near Clarksville, Knoll added.

Emergency communications indicated police found a firearm in a creek. Authorities from the Montgomery County, Tenn., Sheriff’s Office, the Clarksville Police Department, the Christian County Sheriff’s Department, and the Oak Grove Police Department assisted with the search, focusing on areas near Tiny Town Road in Clarksville. K-9 units and a Nashville, Tenn., police department helicopter were also called in to help with the search.

Police gave up on the “mass search operation” around 8:30 p.m. without finding the three suspects, according to Knoll.

Brown is charged with first-degree robbery. He was picked out of a police lineup by one of the alleged victims, according to an arrest report.

REACH ELI PACE at 270-887-3235

or Reach David Snow at 270-887-3295


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