Teen Leads Officers On Wild Chase That Ends In Ditch Off South Broad Street

Friday, December 20, 2013 - by Hollie Webb
Sawyer Clanton
Sawyer Clanton

An early morning police chase ended when a young Georgia man crashed into a news vehicle and a concrete picnic table, went through a chain link fence, and finally hit a metal gate in the News Channel 12 parking lot.

According to police, 19-year-old Sawyer Clanton had tried to shoplift $1501.98 worth of merchandise from the Walmart on Cummings Highway. He tried to get a shopping cart out of the store containing 9 Xbox controllers, 22 Playstation controllers, a 12 pack of Bud Light beer, and a plastic container. However, Walmart manager Olaf Darbouze saw Clanton and stopped him.

Mr. Darbouze said Clanton fled the scene in a white Honda Accord before police arrived. According to police, Officer Douglas Rawson spotted Clanton’s car and turned on his police lights. However, he said Clanton immediately sped up and tried to get away.

Police said they followed Clanton until he ran a red light on Broad Street and turned into the News Channel 12 parking lot. There, they blocked the entrance.

When police ordered him to stop, they said Clanton acted as if he were going to run through the fence and hit two officers with his car. He slammed on the brakes at the last minute and started driving in circles around the parking lot until he hit a News Channel 12 Ford Escape.

This did not stop him. Police said after hitting the vehicle, he then drove into a concrete picnic table and another fence. After hitting the fence, he found himself in the lot of Chattem Chemicals. He drove around this lot as well, continuing to evade police. To escape, police said he rammed a metal fence. They said he headed toward West 33rd Street, but ran into a ditch.

After he crashed, he tried to escape on foot into a wooded area. Officer Phillip McCall tackled Clanton, but he said Clanton grabbed his hand and tried to break his finger, so Officer Rawson had to taze him. Finally, Clanton surrendered and police took him to Erlanger Hospital to be medically cleared.

Clanton now faces charges including two counts of aggravated assault on police, one count of simple assault on police, one count of vandalism over $500, one count of vandalism over $10,000, evading arrest, and running a red light. From the incident at Walmart, he has been charged with theft over $1,000.  


Family Makes Treasure Trove Of Early Chattanooga Photographs Available For Book; Stokes Collection Has Been Passed Down To Descendants

A treasure trove of Chattanooga photographs that have been passed down in the Stokes family for generations has now been assembled in an upcoming book. Chattanooga Around The Turn Of The Century: The Remarkable Stokes Collection will be published by Chattanoogan.com. Pre-orders are now being taken for the book, which includes over 700 photos on large-size pages. Publisher ... (click for more)

Symphony Sues Bank, Foundation Over Distribution Of Lillian Colby Trust

The Chattanooga Symphony and Opera Association has filed suit, saying it is not getting its promised share of the estate of Lillian L. Colby. The Chancery Court complaint was brought against SunTrust Bank and the Lillian L. Colby Charitable Foundation. The suit says Ms. Colby regularly attended CSO productions, was a season ticket holder for many years, and often made monetary ... (click for more)

Leaders Lead On Amendment 1

This week the Hamilton County Commission was faced with what I believe may be one of the most important votes they have cast during their tenure.  Granted, the vote was over a "mere" Resolution that resulted in no overt action or new law in our county.  But there are times when simply speaking Truth and taking a stand on a foundational Principle is paramount and as such ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My October Garden

Hark! It is the first day of October and, as I make my monthly stroll through the garden, I find a growing numbers of leaves and acorns. Autumn leaves are beautiful while acorns are nuts, thus you will get the idea as we make our monthly awards: A PRETTY LEAF to Phil Hughes after the Minnesota Twins pitcher came within one inning of earning a $500,000 bonus this season. The deal ... (click for more)

East Hamilton Personnel Losses Boost Other 5-AAA Hoop Teams

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – East Hamilton’s loss has been solid gains for two other basketball teams in District 5-AAA and Ringgold, Ga. One of the Hurricanes’ top players, Kenny Bunton, left the program two days after Rodney English replaced fired Michael Stone and transferred to Walker Valley where he will play for coach Bob Williams’ Mustangs. “I took the job in March and two days ... (click for more)

John Shearer: Memories Of Watching 38 Baylor-McCallie Games

Back in the fall of 1971 when I was in the sixth grade at Bright School, I listened on the radio to the exciting football game between Baylor and McCallie schools, the first since the series had been discontinued after 1940. I was hoping to attend Baylor School as a student the next year, so I was quite excited that Baylor won, 9-7.  And the next year as a seventh-grader, ... (click for more)