A car crashed into a house on East Fourth Street after five teens went for a joyride and got spooked when an officer turned around to check on them.
Chattanooga Police said an officer observed a vehicle occupied by the five teens. While passing the vehicle, she noticed that the driver was unrestrained and that the vehicle had a drive-out tag that was not legible.
The officer attempted to turn around and affect a traffic stop to investigate the traffic infractions. Before she could catch up to the car, the driver took off and she (the officer) lost sight of the vehicle.
Moments later, the officer reported hearing a loud crash. Within seconds, she observed the juveniles running in several different directions around East Third Street.
After rounding up all of the teens, the crashed vehicle was discovered on East Fourth Street.
Because she was never able to catch up to the vehicle to make a stop, it was not considered a pursuit, police said.
A police spokesperson said, "The kids got spooked when they saw the officer and decided to try to run."
The home that was hit is owned by Orchard Knob Baptist Church. The church had a video surveillance system that captured the crash.
The home suffered over $5,000 worth of damage.
All of the teens were charged in the incident with the 17-year-old driver receiving the most significant charges.
Police said the owner of the crashed vehicle is the mother of two of the suspects, who are 14 years old. They pushed the car out of their driveway in East Ridge so that the 17-year-old could drive them around to friends’ houses in East Chattanooga, police said.
The other two teens are 15 and 16.