| Officers' Quick Actions Net Dangerous Purse Snatching Suspect
October 8, 2004 - Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and Police Chief Sterling Owen today announced Officers Doyle Lee and Kevin Ragland as the July Officers of the Month. Officer Lee has been with the department since December 1999. Officer Ragland will complete his first year of service in November.
Owen said that on July 24 at approximately 2:00 p.m., the Knoxville
Police Department was notified of a purse-snatching incident at the
O'Charley's Restaurant at 3050 South Mall Road. According to witnesses,
a female suspect ran up to the victim outside of the business and grabbed
her purse. The suspect then ran back to a Pontiac Grand Prix that had
been parked nearby.
The victim then ran up to the suspect's car and attempted to reach into the vehicle to grab her purse. The male suspect driver hit the accelerator and dragged the victim approximately 150 feet through the parking lot before she was able to let go of her purse. A description of both suspects, their vehicle, and their direction of travel were broadcast to officers.
Acting on the direction of travel information, responding Officers Lee and Ragland positioned themselves in the area of Asheville Highway and Chilhowee Drive. After only a few minutes they spotted the suspect's vehicle turning into the Kroger's parking lot on Asheville Highway.
As the officers initiated their emergency equipment, the suspects fled the parking lot onto Holston Drive then onto Asheville Highway then onto Iroquois Drive where they eluded the officers. The suspect's vehicle was found abandoned at the dead end of Cayuga Drive.
A perimeter was established in an attempt to contain the suspects. While waiting for help from a K-9 officer, Officers Lee and Ragland noticed movement along a tree line. The two officers moved in and were able to take the male suspect into custody without incident. The unidentified female still remains on the run.
The suspect, George Allen King, was charged with Aggravated Robbery, Felony Evading Arrest, Misdemeanor Fleeing, and Theft. The victim's purse was recovered near the suspect's vehicle.
Chief Owen said, "By putting forth extra effort and utilizing their trained observation skills, Officers Lee and Ragland were able to take off the streets a violent individual who obviously had no regard for the safety of others."
Mayor Haslam said, "These officers took quick and decisive action to protect the community that they serve. And for that, we are greatly appreciative."
The female victim received a cut on her knee and heavy bruising on her leg and hip areas, but she refused medical treatment.
Both officers will receive a signed certificate from the Mayor and Chief along with a free dinner from O'Charley's.
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