Two people were arrested May 14, following a high-speed chase that stretched from Johnson to Floyd County, with multiple law enforcement agencies joining the pursuit.
Larry Dalton Bartley, also known as Dalton Johnson, 26, whose address is listed in court filings as both Paintsville and Louisville, and Diana Gatewood, 29, of Paintsville, were arrested on multiple charges after allegedly leading police on this pursuit that began, according to court documents, with a stolen vehicle in Johnson County.
Johnson County Sheriff Deputy Chad Penix reported that he was parked at a gas station on Ky. 40 when he spotted a vehicle matching the description of one that had been reported stolen.
He reported that he attempted to pull the vehicle over in Cross Creek, but the driver, Bartley, allegedly fled at a high rate of speed. In Floyd County, Penix said Bartley ran a red light on U.S. 23 “without hesitation for human life,” and that he reached speeds of over 120 mph during the pursuit.
Bartley and Gatewood were arrested just off Ky. 122 in Garth Hollow.
The pursuit lasted more than an hour, with the Floyd County Sheriff, Johnson County Sheriff, Kentucky State Police and others assisting. The Floyd County Sheriff’s Department reported that the pursuit was halted temporarily when it became too dangerous to continue on Ky. 122, a curvy road. The pursuit resumed after community members reported seeing the vehicle turn onto Garth Hollow and not come back out.
The Floyd County Sheriff’s Department deployed K9 Lita to help track the scent from the vehicle on a strip mine. Deputies also used a drone during the search. Penix reported that the mountainous terrain made the search difficult.
“The location was high up on a mountain top and had a lot of hazards to cause injury by falling or tripping over the hill to get them,” he wrote. “Floyd County was able to flush them out of hiding and Deputy (Darrin) Lawson witnessed (Gatewood) try to eat some of the drugs that was hiding on her person. He was able to retrieve a round small container with two white pills and a little zip lock baggie that Gatewood states its heroin and Gabapentin.”
Bartley was charged with first- and second-degree fleeing/evading police, speeding 26mph or greater over the limit, 10 counts of first-degree wanton endangerment of a police officer, seven additional counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, failure to maintain insurance, driving on a suspended license and two counts of first-degree fleeing/evading police, disregarding traffic control device and receiving stolen property.
Gatewood was charged with tampering with physical evidence for allegedly trying to eat the drugs, two counts of second-degree fleeing/evading police, first- and second-degree possession of a controlled substance, receiving stolen property and 10 counts of second-degree wanton endangerment of a police officer.
They are scheduled to be arraigned in Floyd County on July 8.