Crimetracker: Robbery suspects nabbed after crash on Merchants Rd. exit

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Two robbery suspects were arrested after they wiped out on the Merchants Road exit off I-275 while trying to flee from police late Tuesday night, the Knoxville Police Dept. said. Zachary Taylor Whaley and Natasha Hill allegedly stole a small amount of cash from a 42 year-old man in a north Knoxville apartment.

Kevin Rawlins told police the suspects were in his apartment when Whaley pulled Rawlins' shirt over his head and started punching him. Rawlins said he fell to the floor as Whaley continued to kick him and stomp on his head.

Officers found Rawlins at Fort Snaders Hospital around 9:30 p.m. with several injuries including bruises and abrasions to his head as well as a stab wound to his head.

After grabbing the cash, the suspects took off in a Ford Focus with New York license plates. Using that description, two officers spotted the suspect's vehicle in Western Heights when they turned onto Fort Promise Drive and right in front of the police car.

The officer tried to pull him over and the suspects took off down Oldham Ave. and turned onto I-275. They crashed while trying to exit onto Merchants Drive.

Taylor was charged with Especially Aggravated Robbery, Reckless Endangerment, Evading Arrest (Motor Vehicle), Theft (Vehicle)
Whaley is also wanted on a theft related charge from Pennsylvania, while Hill faces a lone count of Especially Aggravated Robbery.

Police say the Ford Focus was stolen from Pennsylvania and the license plate was taken from New York.

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