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.


Crime Stoppers: Armed Robbery At Highway 58 Family Dollar

Crime Stoppers and the Chattanooga Police Department are seeking information and the identity of the suspects of an armed robbery at the Family Dollar at 4749 Highway 58.  On April 7, at approximately 8:10 a.m., Chattanooga police responded to a robbery at the Family Dollar.  Two masked suspects entered the store and demanded the money from the registers. One of the ... (click for more)

Cleveland, Tn., Woman Missing Since 2011 Turns Up In Mississippi

A Cleveland, Tn., woman who had been missing since 2011 was found Tuesday in Mississippi. The Biloxi Sun Herald said 50-year-old Tammy Renee King, was walking along Mississippi 613 when a citizen stopped to help her. The Good Samaritan called the sheriff's office. Members of a local church plan to drive her back to Cleveland after she is checked out at a hospital. The newspaper ... (click for more)

Time For Tennessee To Act On Climate This Earth Day - And Response

Tennessee will join the rest of the southeast region, the nation and countries across the world in celebrating Earth Day on April 22. The entire month of April is a great time to reflect on the strides we have made to reduce pollution over the last 44 years, and assess current environmental conditions while evaluating our personal responsibility to a cleaner environment.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why Jim Coppinger Excels

Jim Coppinger, who as the mayor of Hamilton County has understandably had to grow some thick skin, wants no part of the repulsive billboards now seen around town that ask, “Do you have gonorrhea?”  His Tuesday morning telephone call revealed he is just as disgusted as the rest of us who see them showing a picture of a forlorn African-American male. “You need to know the Hamilton ... (click for more)

Owls' Fugate Fires Two-Hit Shutout In 2-0 Win Over Blue Raiders

Ooltewah was on the verge of a District 5-AAA double-header sweep against Cleveland. But the Blue Raiders’ hot-hitting catcher Hunter Oliver had other ideas. The Owls rode Logan Fugate’s brilliant two-hit shutout and two first-inning runs to a 2-0 win over Cleveland in the first game at A.C. Bud Ball Field on Wednesday. “Logan is an absolute warrior,” Owls coach Brian Hitchcox ... (click for more)

UTC Men Netters Stop Davidson, 4-2

Chattanooga needed Jorge Varon's best match of the season and got it. The Valencia, Venezuela senior's straight set win at No.2 singles clinched the Mocs 4-2 win against No.8 seed Davidson in a first round match of the Southern Conference Tennis Championship at The Champions Club in Rivermont. "Jorge played great in singles and doubles (winning at No.3) and of course ... (click for more)