Violence Reduction Initiative Leader Facing Drug, Alcohol Charges; City Halts His Involvement In Program

Saturday, June 07, 2014
Richard Bennett
Richard Bennett

A leader of a non-profit group working in the city's violence reduction initiative was arrested on Friday night on drug charges.

Richard Kevin Bennett, 48, of 4710 Fairwood Lane, was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance (pills), misdemeanor possession of marijuana, and an open container violation.

He was transported to the County Jail, and he later made bond.

Police said they were dispatched at 11:10 p.m. to be on the lookout for a silver or blue minivan driving erratically around East Lake Park.

An officer spotted the silver minivan pulled down into the grass in the southeast corner of the park. The passenger side sliding glass door was open and Bennett was inside with a female.

Police said Bennett's pants were unzipped.

When asked for his ID, he reached into his pocket and a small baggie fell out, an officer said. The officer said it appeared that he picked it up and put it in his pocket.

The officer relocated him for a patdown, but he did not find a baggie.

Police said Bennett had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath. Two open Budweiser beers and an open bottle of Patron liquor were in plain view in the vehicle.

A small amount of marijuana was found in the glove compartment. Both individuals denied any knowledge of the marijuana.

Police said Bennett had a pill container on his keys that contained seven hydro pills without a prescription with it.

Qwentina Holiday said she was meeting Bennett to ask for money.

Bennett said he was meeting the woman to get information on the violence reduction initiative. 

City officials said, "We will not tolerate criminal activity from anyone in our community – whether they are associated with the a city initiative or not. We are extremely disappointed in Mr. Bennett's actions and have halted his involvement with Chattanooga Violence Reduction Initiative (VRI).

"Chattanooga VRI has been successful since its start in March and we will continue to meet the day-to-day needs of those who have reached out for help through our existing partnerships with other agencies. The success of the Chattanooga Violence Reduction Initiative is dependent on our entire community putting an end to violence -- not one person or one agency."


 


Chattanooga Police Seek 2 Theft And Fraud Suspects

The Chattanooga Police Department is asking for assistance in identifying two theft/fraud suspects who were captured on camera walking into businesses in the downtown area, stealing purses and other personal items.  The suspects then used the cash and credit cards they stole to purchase over $10,000 in Walmart gift cards. Investigators with the Fraud Unit need assistance ... (click for more)

Bessie Smith Cultural Center Selects Auditing Firm

The board of directors of the Bessie Smith Cultural Center has contracted with an independent auditing firm to review the financial records of the organization and make recommendations on improved financial controls. The firm of Henderson Hutcherson & McCullough, PLLC has been selected. In addition, the board established a community panel to review the current policies and ... (click for more)

Cell Phones And Roundabouts

I read the article written by Chris Morgan about the use of cell phones in vehicles and the Chattanooga Roundabouts. Cell phone use in vehicles especially in crisis intersection situations is extremely dangerous. I also agree with his assessment about the roundabouts. One problem I see with roundabouts is that on the two-lane roundabouts where they are coming in from ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Two Wrongs Not Right

Scottie Mayfield is a delightful friend of mine but he’s the last guy in the world who should be aiming at anybody’s character. He’s always had class but today Scottie is the “star” of a shameful political commercial in which he assails challenger Weston Wamp on behalf of a panicked Chuck Fleischmann. Mayfield, you’ll remember, ran against the two in the last race for the District ... (click for more)

Chattanooga FC Hosts Sacramento Gold Saturday At 7:30

The Chattanooga Football Club will host yet another playoff soccer game on Saturday as Sacramento Gold comes to town in the National NPSL final four semifinal game.  The NPSL National semifinals are powered by Mitre.  Midwest region champions Lansing United will play Northeast region champions Red Buls U23s in New York on Sunday in the other semifinal match.  The ... (click for more)

Montgomery Stops Lookouts Thursday, 6-4

The Chattanooga Lookouts jumped out to an early lead, but committed four errors on their way to a 6-4 loss at the hands of the Montgomery Biscuits. Recap Lookouts' center fielder Darnell Sweeney started the game on a positive note for Chattanooga, leading off the bottom of the first with a single. Noel Cuevas followed up Sweeney's single with a line drive base hit of ... (click for more)