Officers Call East Lake Courts City's Most Dangerous Spot

Judge Sets Maximum 6-Year Sentence With Community Corrections After 11/29 For Man Charged With Breaking Officer's Jaw

Monday, April 28, 2014 - by John Wilson
Jeremiah Romine
Jeremiah Romine

Officers testified Monday in Criminal Court about patrolling East Lake Courts, calling it the city's most dangerous spot.

Officer John Patterson, whose jaw was broken in three places at the public housing site last June 29, said, "It's a very dangerous place and any time I go there I'm on high alert. It's dangerous for anyone, including police."

He said, "Probably more assaults on police officers occur there than anywhere else." He said a number of shootings and drug sales happen there. 

Officer Justin Headden also told of numerous assaults and other crimes at East Lake Courts. He said an officer was shot multiple times just a short distance from where Officer Patterson was attacked.

Chattanooga Housing Authority officials have indicated that East Lake Courts, by I-24 at the 4th Avenue exit, will be phased out probably within a decade.

After a lengthy hearing, Criminal Court Judge Don Poole gave Jeremiah Romine the maximum six years for the attack on Officer Patterson. He allowed him to go on community corrections after serving 11 months and 29 days at the workhouse. The judge said Romine, who is bi-polar and oppositional defiant disorder, must stay on his medication.

Romine, 22, has already served 10 months.

Officer Patterson, who said he has been assaulted about 10 times during his short career with the Crime Suppression Unit, said Romine turned on him and began slugging him in the face after he grabbed his arm.

He said often when he is attacked it is a tactic for the assailant to get away. He said, "This was full on - fast and furious." He said he was finally able to gain his composure and fight back. Romine then ran around a building. He was caught when he ran full circle back to where the assault occurred.

Officer Patterson said Romine continued to curse and yell even after he was tased. He said he banged his head against the inside of a police car and at the hospital he had to be tied to a bed.

 Romine took the witness stand and apologized, saying he had been off his medication for months. He said his mother died and his father is in prison. He was raised by foster parents, but is now estranged from them. He said he was homeless for a year and a half, living in a box under a bridge and elsewhere.

At the time of the incident, he said he had been staying with a female at East Lake Courts.

He said the officer stopped him to ask him where a man who was with him with warrants against him had gone. He said when the officer got close to him a spot of saliva from the officer landed on the side of his mouth. He said at that time "the bad side of Jeremiah" came out.  

Prosecutor Cameron Williams asked for prison time, saying Romine had hit his foster father in 2005 and assaulted another officer in 2008. He said he had his probation revoked four times and there is a hold on him in two other counties.

He said Officer Patterson had to have his jaw wired shut for weeks and could not eat solid food during that time. He said he still has problems with his mouth and jaw.

 


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ADAMS, HUEY  119 BATES ST CHARLESTON, 37310  Age at Arrest: 36 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County THEFT OF PROPERTY --- ARSENEAU, SARAH ANNE  2210 RED TAIL LANE CHATTANOOGA, 37421  Age at Arrest: 27 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga THEFT OF PROPERTY (UNDER $500) ... (click for more)

Riverview Neighbors In Court Over "Huge Wall"

Riverview neighbors are in court over a "huge wall" recently constructed on Edgewood Circle. William G. and Alice Oehmig filed the Chancery Court complaint against Keith and Amanda Jackson. The suit, filed by attorney Bill Horton, says the Jacksons bought the former Allen Corey property, then added a large amount of fill in their back and side yards, adjacent to the Oehmigs. ... (click for more)

Memorial Auditorium Flag Disgrace

How can it be that Memorial Auditorium, which was built to honor soldiers and sailors, displays our country’s flag in such a disgraceful manner?  Out of six poles on the front of the building only two battered flags remain.  Additionally, two old banners are attached to the wall that have long ago faded and look like they’ve seen better days. This is not acceptable ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Buy Ping Golf Clubs

As we set the charcoal, ice the drinks and prepare for Memorial Day, the first thing on my mind is to ask any golfers within my reach to consider buying and playing with Ping-brand golf clubs. Pings are made in America but there is a little something else you need to know, as told in an email I received earlier this week. I regret I do not know the author: * * * “On Monday, ... (click for more)

Gilpin, Stocks Victorious In Chattanooga Chase 8K

John Gilpin has done plenty of training in North Chattanooga and is very familiar with the Chattanooga Chase and the series of hills the oldest race in Chattanooga is known for. Jennifer Stocks has done more than her share of workouts on those roads, so she was fully aware of the challenge she faced when the starting horn sounded. Both were overall winners in this unique 8K ... (click for more)

Flames Fall In NCCAA Baseball Championship

The Lee fans waited and waited for the big hit that had ignited the Flames in five other wins during the 2015 NCCAA World Series. The hit never came and neither did the big inning in the 6-2 loss to Fresno Pacific in Saturday afternoon's championship at Prasco Park. It marked the second straight year that the Sunbirds defeated the Flames in the NCCAA final. Lee wraps up the ... (click for more)