Pregnant Woman Was Knocked Down, Trampled During Mall Melee

Thursday, March 1, 2018
David Ballard
David Ballard

A pregnant woman was knocked down and trampled by several patrons during a melee at Hamilton Place Mall last Saturday night, police said.

The woman was taken to nearby Erlanger East Hospital's emergency room.

Police said she was 26 weeks pregnant and the frightening incident may have caused premature labor.

Police have charged 18-year-old David Lebron Ballard with aggravated riot and other charges. Police said he was the main instigator of a fight between two rival gangs inside the mall in front of Journey's. 

"Multiple parties" were involved in the fight, it was stated.

Police said Ballard is known to police and was easily identified from mall video footage.

Police said Ballard dis-engaged from the fight and took an escalator to the second floor. Once at the top of the escalator he can be seen displaying a black semi-automatic handgun with a large magazine. 

Once the gun was on display, several people started shouting, "Gun! He has a gun!" it was stated.

Patrons at the crowded mall then began running in all directions.

Ballard can be seen leaving the mall out of west facing main exit door. Once in the parking lot he can be seen ducking between two parked cars. 

Police were able to locate a Glock handgun similar to the one that was described by patrons. It was found in the area where Ballard was seen ducking down between the vehicles.

The serial number had been filed off the gun.

Police said Ballard is a validated gang member.

Police said on Feb. 8 Ballard and Tavarious Johnson were spotted at the 2600 block of 6th Avenue Court. Both ran from police.

Johnson was taken into custody. Ballard evaded police, who said he was running with a handgun in his hand.

Police said Ballard was on the Chattanooga Housing Authority criminal trespassing list and knows he is not allowed on CHA property.


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