Richard James Sweeney
A truck driver from St. Ignace, Mi., has been arrested in Chattanooga after two women said he pointed a gun at them while in their vehicles on I-75.
Richard James Sweeney, 64, is charged with two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of reckless endangerment, possession of a firearm in the commission of a crime, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
In the incident on Friday, Amanda Witt said she followed the vehicle in from Bradley County and saw that it was swerving all over the road.
She said when she tried to pass the truck after going into Hamilton County that the driver picked up a gun with his left hand and held it out the driver's side window in a threatening manner.
She said as she was passing the truck driver swerved across the freeway and hit his brakes, almost coming to a complete stop.
Tonya Green, a cousin of Ms. Witt who was part of a motor pool headed for the Chattanooga Convention Center, said she tried to pass the truck out of concern for the safety of several children in her car.
She said when she was passing that the truck driver held a gun out the window. She said she yelled at the children in the car to get down. She said the truck driver then slammed on his brakes and swerved in her direction.
Deputies said they stopped the truck near the Bonny Oaks exit. They said he was uncooperative and lay on the ground without moving. They said he had an odor of marijuana and his speech was slowed and slightly slurred.
Deputies had to pick up the driver, Sweeney, and place him in a patrol car. They said he remained combative while he was at the jail being booked.
A loaded 22 caliber Smith and Wesson handgun was found on the dash in front of the steering wheel.
A search of the truck also turned up marijuana stored in a film case, a wooden marijuana pipe and several unopened bottles of liquor and beer.