Police Blotter: Man Crashes On Suck Creek Road After Swerving To Miss Coyote; Gunbarrel Road "Exit" Turns Out To Be A Subterfuge

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Police responded to 1201 Suck Creek Road on a single-vehicle crash. An officer made contact with the owner/driver. His Toyota Yaris was in the ditch and was already being towed by private tow. The drive said he swerved to avoid hitting a coyote, which caused the crash. 

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There was a call of shoplifting at 501 Signal Mountain Road. Police spoke with Walmart loss prevention who stated that a man they identified as Charles Songer was seen in Walmart after being previously banned for shoplifting. Loss prevention followed the man and witnessed him attempt to steal several cases of beer before being stopped by loss prevention, it was stated. Mr. Songer then ran from the store, but not before dropping his cell phone. Loss prevention was able to pull video of the incident. However, police were unable to verify the identity of the person in the video.

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An employee of a wrecker company on Calhoun Avenue said he towed a truck earlier in the night and the owner showed up at his lot causing a disorder. He said the owner of the truck mentioned getting his "strap" and would not stop yelling at the other employees. The owner of the truck was finishing paying to take his truck back and was leaving the scene as the officer took down the report.

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An officer responding to the Highway 153 Walmart was informed by loss prevention that a white Hyundai Sonata with Tennessee tags has been associated with multiple large thefts from Walmart. Every time this vehicle has been sighted at this location, a push out theft occurs. The officer said he had previously arrested the owner of the vehicle, who is the suspected driver for these incidents.

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A construction manager at a location on Hickory Valley Road said he had a trailer that was locked and left on the job site broken into. He said there were multiple tools taken from the trailer and he did not have any serial numbers for these tools. 

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At the Dollar General at 4860 Hixson Pike, a woman said she lost her black leather "Calvin Klein" brand designer wallet. It contained $800 in cash along with financial instruments. It was lost during the course of shopping at the store. She said she meticulously searched throughout the business's numerous shopping aisles, but was unable to locate her wallet. The store's interior surveillance footage did not detect anything amiss. 

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Police were called to the Preservation Drive office of the TBI. Agent Tommy Farmer said an unknown person in a dark-colored Ford truck was observed driving around the TBI front parking lot and filming. Agent Farmer said that he was using his cell phone to record the TBI Chattanooga headquarters building. Agent Farmer said that when he saw this suspicious behavior he went outside of the office and told the person in the vehicle to pull over so that he could conduct an investigative stop to find out why they were recording the TBI building. Agent Farmer said that the man refused to pull over and fled the scene heading south. Agent Farmer said he followed the vehicle in his official vehicle and conducted a traffic stop. The stop occurred in the northern end of the TBI parking lot. A city officer "observed the party in question sitting in his vehicle, facing Agent Farmer's vehicle with his cell phone in his right hand. The party appeared to be filming with his phone. As I approached the vehicle I asked for the party, a middle-aged white male, to exit the vehicle so that I may talk to him. This party agreed to exit the vehicle. When he exited the vehicle I asked him his name, he replied that his name was "Tony". I then asked what he was doing and he asked me why he was being detained and that filming was not a criminal activity. I then asked for his driver's license to which he replied "No". "Tony" then asked to speak to a supervisor because he felt his constitutional rights were being violated by being stopped and detained by Agent Farmer. I then got out on the radio and requested that a supervisor respond to the scene. While awaiting my supervisor's response, "Tony" began to inform me that he was doing nothing criminal by filming the TBI Chattanooga headquarters and that he was simply doing a "1st Amendment audit". He then began to explain what a "1st Amendment audit" was and asked me where I went to "cop school". Shortly after this my acting supervisor, Officer Moser, responded. While Officer Moser and Agent Farmer were speaking with "Tony" I took down the license plate registration number and ran the vehicle through NCIC." The vehicle came back to a resident of Bayshore Drive in Harrison. The vehicle was fully insured and did not come back stolen. Agent Farmer finally determined he did not want to bring any kind of charge. The man, who had his cell phone out recording the entire encounter with Agent Farmer and Chattanooga Police officers, then went on his way with his 1st Amendment audit in hand. 

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Police responded at 1651 Gunbarrel Road to a vehicle stuck on an embankment. Upon arrival, police spoke with the driver. He said he was trying to leave the area and thought the embankment was an exit/entrance point. He started to drive down it and realized too late that it was not an exit. His vehicle got stuck. Monteagle Towing was called and they pulled the vehicle free. The driver said there was no damage to the vehicle and there was no damage to the property.

 


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