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



Rep. Deffenbaugh: Week 7 Legislative Report

On Tuesday, February 21, the House reconvened for another lively week under the Gold Dome. where we were hard at work drafting, discussing and passing legislation to address important issues facing our great state. With Crossover Day coming up next week, my colleagues and I worked longer hours this week to thoroughly review key pieces of legislation and passed several bills on the ... (click for more)

Dialogue Is Needed - And Response

On Feb.  24, approximately 300 citizens showed up at the downtown public library for a Town Meeting.  No elected officials attended or sent representatives. Most of the officals did send responses indicating that they were unable to attend. I moved to Chattanooga in the 1970's.I have seen progress in improving health,education,minority relations and ... (click for more)

Dallas Bay Firefighters Save Home After Kitchen Fire, But 2 Dogs Die

Dallas Bay firefighters saved a home from burning to the ground on Saturday afternoon. Around 1 p.m., the homeowner called 911 reporting a house fire located at 1856 Cotter Road. Dallas Bay Volunteer Fire Department responded and arrived on the scene reporting heavy smoke pouring out the front door. Dallas Bay VFD requested a mutual aid response for Red Bank Fire Department ... (click for more)

Man, 39, Shot Late Friday Night In The Vicinity Of North Chamberlain Avenue

Police said a 39-year-old man was shot late Friday night in the vicinity of North Chamberlain Avenue.   He was identified as Ruben Williams Sr.   Officers with the Chattanooga Police Department were informed just before midnight that a shooting victim arrived at a local hospital via personal vehicle.   Officers made contact with the victim who advised ... (click for more)

McCallie Advances To D-II Final Four With 67-48 Win

The third time wasn’t the charm for the Pope John Paul II Knights. Playing at McCallie in the quarterfinal round of the Division II state basketball tournament Saturday night, the Knights played better than they had the previous two times they met, but the result was the same as McCallie advanced to the Final Four with a 67-48 victory. McCallie, snipping a three-game losing ... (click for more)

'Canes Roll Past Stone Memorial 62-38 In Region 3-3A Action

East Hamilton was able to shake off a devastating 30-point loss to Cleveland in the District 5-3A championship game earlier in the week and Stone Memorial was victimized by the Hurricanes’ big bounce-back. East Hamilton held the visitors scoreless in the first quarter and went on to shellack the Panthers 62-38 in a history-making victory on its home court Saturday night. ... (click for more)