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Press Release

HCSO Involved in Pursuit with Kidnapping Suspect


Hamilton County, TN – Earlier this morning at approximately 1:30 am, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded along with the Chattanooga Police Department to what was originally dispatched as a subject shooting into an apartment located near the 6800 block of Spence Lane.

Upon arrival, deputies observed a silver Chevrolet Malibu leave the complex headed south on Highway 58. Deputies began to follow behind the vehicle as they attempted to gather more information from dispatchers regarding the call.

While following the vehicle the passenger front door of the vehicle opened and a juvenile female jumped from the vehicle while in motion, rolling several times before coming to a stop on the side of the roadway.

The vehicle then took off at a high rate of speed. At that point, deputies attempted to stop the vehicle and the suspect began to flee recklessly from deputies traveling south on Highway 58 at a high rate of speed. Deputies successfully deployed spike strips near the 4400 block of Highway 58, however the suspect would continue evading. The suspect lost control twice on South Access Road and at one point struck a Sheriff’s Office Patrol vehicle.

The suspect would continue to flee with a flat tire into the River Park near the Chickamauga Dam. Deputies attempted to conduct PIT maneuvers to end the pursuit , however the suspect would eventually run off the side of the roadway, striking a block wall, where deputies were able to successfully box him in with patrol vehicles.

The suspect ignored all the Deputies’ commands and was reaching around the vehicle. Less lethal bean bag rounds were deployed to break out the windows. As the suspect continued to ignore commands, pepper spray was then deployed, however it was not effective. Deputies then deployed a taser, but the suspect kept reaching around for something and was yelling “Just kill me.” Deputies were finally able to remove the suspect from the vehicle and he was taken into custody.

“Last night while many of us were sleeping, your Sheriff’s Office responded to a violent incident and was involved in a pursuit that would eventually leave one very brave young woman jumping from a moving vehicle while deputies relentlessly pursued her captor. It is for critical situations such as this, your Sheriff’s Office deputies are highly trained to utilize a variety of tools, both lethal and non-lethal in nature, to pursue dangerous suspects in order to keep you and your family safe. I am very grateful this young woman was not more seriously injured, and I am proud of her brave actions. Each and every day, we work together with our law enforcement partners to ensure your safety throughout Hamilton County. Let me be clear, when the initial call for help comes, despite where in the county it takes place, we are all coming…” stated Sheriff Austin Garrett.

The suspect, later identified as Antonio Wright, will be charged by the Sheriff’s Office with the following:

• Felony Evading

• Aggravated Assault

• Resisting Arrest

It was later determined that this call was not a shooting, rather a reported intruder at the apartment. Due to the initial call occurring in the City of Chattanooga, deputies transferred custody of the suspect to Chattanooga Police Department personnel as they are conducting the investigation into the original incident on Spence Lane.

Any questions pertaining to the victim or the investigation into this initial incident should be directed to the Chattanooga Police Department.

HCEMS responded to the scene to medically review the juvenile party.

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Phone: (423) 209-7000