Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cookeville Policeman Injured During Arrest Attempt

A Cookeville police officer was injured this week as he attempted to arrest an alleged drug dealer. Officer Shannon Smith says the man -- a 17-year-old juvenile from Jackson County -- drove away as police were telling him that he was under arrest. In doing so, the teenage driver struck Smith in the right foot and knee. According to police, the case began when members of the Community Nuisance Eradication Team, or CNET, were conducting drug investigations in the 400 block of South Jefferson Avenue. Smith says undercover officers pulled into parking place in the Kroger parking lot and observed as a maroon Chevy pick-up pulled past them and into another space. They observed as a passenger exited that truck and got into a red Nissan 240 SX a short distance away. When police moved in on the scene, they allegedly saw what appeared to be individual baggies of pills and crack cocaine in the passenger's hands, while the driver had cash in his hands. Smith says he placed his hand on the driver's left arm and told him to turn off the vehicle and that he was under arrest. But he says the driver took off, dragging him across the parking lot. As Smith freed himself from the vehicle, he was struck in the leg and says he immediately felt the pain as he observed the car racing through the aisles and saw other people trying to get out of the way to avoid being hit. Further investigation led police to identify the driver, who was arrested in the bedroom of a home on Polly Drive early Tuesday morning. He is charged with felony aggravated assault with a vehicle, felony evading arrest, and reckless endangerment. Authorities have not said what they plan to do about the alleged drug dealing.