Burglary suspect Thomas Green, age 48
DALTON, Ga -- The City of Dalton's Chief of Police got more exercise than he planned for when he went out for a jog on Thanksgiving morning. During the middle of his leisurely run he had to break into a full sprint to make an arrest.
Chief Jason Parker is like most chiefs. He's an administrator and it's been years since he made an arrest. That would change last Thursday morning when the avid jogger went out for a five mile run through the city.
He was jogging on Valley Drive when he saw something suspicious. "I saw a guy crossing the street and what was suspicious is he came out of a yard carrying a bunch of stuff," Chief Parker said.
The Chief said he watched the man walk into the back yard of another home and enter an outbuilding. "I could see him bringing things out and putting them on the porch," he said. "It looked to me like what burglars sometimes do, they get all the things a put them near their exit point and then when they're all ready they grab them up and take off."
Parker said he kept an eye on the suspect from behind a bush and realized he was watching a burglary in progress. He didn't have a cell phone but found someone to call 911. "A man and woman came along who were also out for a morning walk," he said. "They didn't have a phone but they agreed to go back to their house and call."
When Chief Parker approached the man, who was later identified as 48-year old Thomas Green, he ran. "When I announced that I was a police officer he picked up speed a little bit but it was a short burst, and you could tell he was getting tired," the Chief said.
After chasing the suspect about a block he ran between two homes, leapt over one fence, but couldn't't make it over a second one. "We went over the first fence and he got to the second fence, which was a little taller, and I was able to catch up to him, get a hold of his coat and get control of him," Parker said.
Parker said Green kept putting up a fight until officers responding to the 911 call arrived and took him into custody. "I only reacted the same way any of our other officers would have reacted," he said. "They would have done the same thing."
Harper Carnes was one of the burglary victims. Green allegedly stole her hammock from her back yard. She noticed it was gone Thanksgiving Day. "We thought at first that somebody had made a practical joke," she said.
Carnes learned it was the Chief of Police who made the arrest when officer returned her hammock. "You definitely fell protected when the Chief of Police is so involved like that," she said.
Most of the items stolen from the outbuilding were brooms and cleaning supplies. Green has been charged with obstruction of an officer, burglary and theft by taking.
"With the help of the citizens who made the 911 call and the quick response of the patrol officers we were able to take this guy off the street and get people's property back," Chief Parker said.
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