Fox 61 Reporter Grabbed By Car Thief As She Does Interview

Thursday, January 01, 2004
Mai Martinez
Mai Martinez

A man who stole three cars on New Year's Day chose a Chattanooga TV reporter as his last victim. He was identified as Chris Allen Gore, 24, of North Georgia.

The first auto theft took place in Catoosa County. The stolen Nissan Sentra was reportedly being chased by police when it crashed into a house near Stateline Road.

The car thief then ran off and forced his way into a second vehicle which
was nearby, police spokesman Ed Buice said. The driver of that car said he had pulled over to let another vehicle ahead of him cross a single lane bridge. While he was waiting, the man jumped in. The two of them scuffled, and the driver was bitten by the car thief. He was also scraped up when he was dragged by his vehicle.

A little while later, the suspect drove the stolen car onto the parking lot of the Conoco station at 1221 E. Main. Its right rear tire was in shreds by this time.

Reporter Mai Martinez, who has worked at FOX61 for just a couple of months, happened to be at the Conoco interviewing people for her New Year’s Day story. The suspect approached her as if to begin a conversation, then he suddenly forced his way into her Jeep Cherokee and sped off, punching and dragging Ms. Martinez in the process, Mr. Buice said.

She received a number of scrapes and bruises and was taken to Erlanger Medical Center for treatment. She was also bitten on the arm by her attacker.

A citizen saw what was happening and followed the FOX61 Jeep out Rossville Boulevard and called police on a cell phone. He kept following the car until officers could arrive, then he helped the officers take the suspect into custody at Central Avenue and Lynchburg.

The suspect is being charged with aggravated robbery by Chattanooga Police for stealing the FOX61 vehicle and attacking Ms. Martinez.

Other charges are pending against him in East Ridge and Catoosa County.

Mai Martinez joined FOX61 in October. 2003. She is a native of San Francisco but calls Anniston, Ala. home.

She came to FOX61 from FOX6 in Birmingham, where she got her start in television. She's a graduate of Jacksonville State University, where she majored in Communication and English and minored in Spanish. She has worked in television, newspaper and radio.


Catoosa County Arrest Report For July 18-24

Click  here  for the Catoosa County arrest report for July 18-24. (click for more)

Door-To-Door Solicitors Will Need To Acquire Permits In East Ridge

The East Ridge City Council passed an ordinance Thursday evening that will require all door-to-door solicitors to acquire a permit. However, political candidates and campaign volunteers were excluded from this by an amendment. Council Member Marc Gravitt noted that religious organizations are also excluded from this because of their 501 (c) 3 status.  A discussion was ... (click for more)

Cell Phones And Roundabouts

I read the article written by Chris Morgan about the use of cell phones in vehicles and the Chattanooga Roundabouts. Cell phone use in vehicles especially in crisis intersection situations is extremely dangerous. I also agree with his assessment about the roundabouts. One problem I see with roundabouts is that on the two-lane roundabouts where they are coming in from ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The NCAA’s “Division IV”

Jonathan Jensen and Brian Turner are two very smart guys. Not long ago the two sports researchers at Ohio State authored a story that appeared in the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports that focused on the most successful college football teams in the country and, earlier this week, a writer named Ben Cohen broke it down in understandable terms for a fascinating Wall Street ... (click for more)

Stone Leaves South Pitt For Coaching Positions At Boyd-Buchanan

The possibility of a career move was definitely in Wes Stone’s future. The one he took wasn’t necessarily on his radar screen just a few weeks ago. Stone, assistant football and head baseball coach at South Pittsburg, has left the Pirates for teaching/coaching positions at Boyd-Buchanan. The 38-year-old Stone, who already is working with the Bucs’ football team as a defensive ... (click for more)

Montgomery Stops Lookouts Thursday, 6-4

The Chattanooga Lookouts jumped out to an early lead, but committed four errors on their way to a 6-4 loss at the hands of the Montgomery Biscuits. Recap Lookouts' center fielder Darnell Sweeney started the game on a positive note for Chattanooga, leading off the bottom of the first with a single. Noel Cuevas followed up Sweeney's single with a line drive base hit of ... (click for more)