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Press Release

Assault suspect still at large


Lenion R. Barnett

Last night at approximately 9:20 p.m. Erlanger Hospital requested a transport of a patient to Moccasin Bend on a Certificate of Need. Corrections Officer Sanders responded to Erlanger Hospital to pick the party up then proceed to Moccasin Bend. As the vehicle reached Hamm Road, the party identified as Lenion R. Barnett became agitated and combative in the backseat of the patrol vehicle and kicked the entire screen barrier out. He grabbed the Officer around the throat, choking him and then attempted to remove the Officers weapon from his holster. The Officer managed to get the vehicle stopped while still involved in the altercation with the party, at which time they both fell from the vehicle onto the pavement. The party then broke and ran into the wooded area next to Hamm road.

A search was initiated for the suspect involving Law Enforcement from both the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office and the Chattanooga Police Department. The search continued on until 2:30 a.m. this morning using K-9 dogs from both agencies with no success. HCSO was back searching this morning at daylight for the suspect who is described as a w/m age 30, 5’8” weighing 200 lbs. with brown hair and hazel eyes. He was wearing a hospital gown and shorts but these items were found in the wooded area during the initial search.

There are outstanding charges on Mr. Barnett for Assault on Police, Reckless Endangerment, Evading Arrest and Vandalism. Investigators with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office wish to advise the public to use caution and report any suspicious activity or sightings immediately to law enforcement. The suspect was last seen in the Moccasin Bend/Stringers Ridge area of Chattanooga.

Janice Atkinson
Public Information Officer
Hamilton County Sheriff's Office

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