Woman flees into church service from assault, suspect still at large


WEAKLEY COUNTY, Tenn. — Deputies say a suspect is on the run after a woman flees to a local church for help. After hours of searching for the man, deputies are asking for your help.

They say Christopher Simpson is still on the run after fleeing from officers after a car chase.

Just after Bible study Wednesday night at Gardner Church of Christ outside of Martin, the congregation was shocked by a woman bursting into the church.

“Two or three couples of us here just chatting like we normally do, and then all of a sudden this young lady walked inside our building,” Pastor Sidney White said.

Pastor White said the woman was petrified and could barely speak.

“We began to try and talk to her, and that’s when she told us that whoever the guy is had a gun and had threatened to actually kill her, threatened to kill her children if she went to the police,” the pastor said.

“Our deputies were responding to the location,” Weakley County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Marty Plunk said. “The girlfriend was able to provide a vehicle description of what Mr. Simpson was in.”

Authorities said a Martin police officer came into contact with Simpson as he was driving through town.

Investigators say Simpson fled during the traffic stop and ending up crashing his car at the intersection of Brandon and Haygood roads, got out of the car and ran away on foot.

“At that time, members of the Weakley County Sheriff’s Office and Tennessee Highway Patrol responded, and they began to work the crash and began the search for Mr. Simpson,” Martin Police Department Capt. Phillip Fuqua said.

Investigators said Simpson will be charged with kidnapping, felony evading arrest, and aggravated assault. He is also wanted out of Obion County for drug and bond charges.

Investigator Plunk said Simpson is still on the run, and they believe he could be dangerous. They are asking for any help in locating him.