Cyclists Don't Matter - And Response

Friday, January 17, 2014

I smell a rat. Let's see, we have a guy that rides his bicycle on the roads of beautiful TVA Raccoon Mountain for training/exercising. I personally have seen him one to two times a week doing this. He never causes trouble, just quietly riding.

Then a few days ago while riding, his life is inches away from ending by a 3,000-pound truck purposely speeding by him. A short time later the suspect(s) come hunting for him again but with accomplices and a different vehicle. The suspects find their victim and are now out of their vehicle even though the victim is preparing to leave. It's during this time, the victim/cyclist is maced. CPD does a good follow up, confessions made.

Now enters Marion County. A deputy tells the victim what he can post or cannot post on the Web. Sheriff says its a. "He said He said" case. Did I mention "Confession"? Does he know he can subpoena the city officer? Does the Sheriff think this lone cyclist all of a sudden made up this story for attention as well?

Yes, I'm a 26-year retired cop but the handling of this felony case is unreal. Warrants should have already been sworn to and arrests made.

Sheriff, go and protect and serve and maybe you and your department start taking your yearly "inservice training" more seriously.

Michael Burns

* * *

It has been a bad few months for Marion County.  First we have the MCHS football coaches vandalizing their own facility and then the former mayor of South Pittsburg goes to jail for illegal gambling.  Now, we have this incident at the TVA Raccoon Mountain facility.  

I can certainly understand that the Sheriff's Department investigator wants to get to the bottom of this case. However, from all the reports, evidence, and, most notably, confessions in the presence of a law officer, there seems little doubt that the young men in the truck(s) were the aggressors who both harassed and assaulted a defenseless cyclist.  

As a cyclist myself who has had experience with vehicular harassers, I feel for Mr. Swanson who, I believe, was harassed and assaulted that day.  Having said that, perhaps the greatest indignity of this incident was being treated as a potential criminal instead of a victim of a senseless criminal act.


I realize that there are two sides to every story and, clearly, I wasn't there, but if this incident goes unpunished, it will be another black mark on an already bad year for Marion County.

Jim Nelson



Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more on issues than personal attacks. (click for more)

Not Everything Has Been Done To Save Hutcheson

I am a resident of Walker County and I have a personal belief that a hospital ranks equal to other basic services a community should offer (like police, fire, emergency services, school systems, government, etc.). I am not privy to all the management and financial conundrums concerning the feasibility of maintaining and growing Hutcheson, and as a private citizen I don’t believe ... (click for more)

Additions And Improvements At Camp Jordan Arena Coming Soon

Additions and improvements are coming to Camp Jordan Arena in the near future. At the Thursday night meeting of the East Ridge city council, approval was given for buying new playground equipment. It will come from Gametime, a locally-based company. The VP of Marketing lives in East Ridge and made a proposal to set up the playground at Camp Jordan so his company could use it for ... (click for more)

Teenager Killed In ATV Accident Thursday Night

Damon Lee Jones, 15, was killed Thursday night in an ATV accident in Walker County. It was reported he was riding with a 17-year old, when they tried to enter a church parking lot, but ran into a cable barrier. The accident happened on Dunwoody Road in LaFayette. The other rider, identified as Timothy J. Wallin, was not injured.   (click for more)

Alabama Wins 34-20, But Vols Find A Gung-Ho QB In Dobbs

(Story will be updated) KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee now has renewed hope for success down the home stretch of the 2014 football season. And, maybe a bowl game is more a reality now than it was a week ago. It’s quarterback Joshua Dobbs. Dobbs, who hadn’t taken a snap all season, rallied the Vols from a 27-0 deficit and turned in a sterling performance against fourth-ranked ... (click for more)

Notre Dame edges Boyd Buc, 1-0 in Girls Soccer

Notre Dame senior Liz Ciabattone scored in the fifth minute and then the Irish held off a battling Boyd Buchanan team for the next 85 minutes for a 1-0 triumph in an A-AA sectional match. The victorious Irish along with Chattanooga Christian (2-0 winner against Grace) advance to the state quarters next Wednesday in Murfreesboro. “It’s good to get the win and advance to the ... (click for more)