By Jane Hill

Daily Journal

BELMONT - A Muscle Shoals man was in custody Monday afternoon after leading a Natchez Trace Park Ranger and a Tishomingo County Sheriff's Department deputy on a high speed car chase during which suspect and pursuers reached speeds of 110 to 120 mph.

Tishomingo County Chief Deputy Neil Edmondson said Mark Renegar, 41, Muscle Shoals, was in the Tishomingo County Jail Monday afternoon charged with aggravated assault on a police officer with a motor vehicle and several misdemeanor traffic violations.

Renegar also was charged with traffic violations occurring on the Natchez Trace Parkway and was being held on three warrants issued by the Florence (Ala.) Police Department on charges of prescription drug forgery, Edmondson said.

According to a spokeswoman for the Lauderdale County (Ala.) Sheriff's Department, Renegar was formerly a pharmacist with a recent history of addiction to prescription drugs.

A Natchez Trace Park Ranger began pursuing Renegar on the Trace in Lauderdale County near the Tennessee River and continued into Tishomingo County. Renegar was driving a 1992 gray Volvo 940.

Edmondson said he joined the chase at about 2 p.m. when he attempted to help the Trace ranger bring Renegar to a "rolling stop" by blocking him into one lane of traffic and gradually slowing down. But on two attempts Renegar tried to run Edmondson off the road and eluded capture.

The chase continued off the Trace and onto Mississippi Highway 4 east and then south on Mississippi Highway 25. Renegar was eventually brought to a halt just north of Belmont on state Highway 25.

"It was quite a chase there for a while. We were going about 120 mph in a 50 mph zone," Edmondson said.

No bond has yet been set on Renegar, who was being held Monday afternoon in the Tishomingo County Jail.

No officers at the Florence Police Department or the Natchez Trace Parkway could be reached for comment.

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