Posts on Jan 1970

Two Men Arrested In Armed Robbery At Verizon Store

Two South Carolina men are in custody after holding up a Verizon Wireless store in Dalton with a handgun and stealing cell phones. Nobody was hurt in the incident.

The incident happened at approximately 7:30 on Saturday night at the Verizon Wireless retail store at 853 Shugart Road. A black male, later identified as Jacody Domonique Gunter, 23, or Conway, South Carolina, entered the store while an employee was in the back area performing inventory. When the employee came back into the front of the store he was confronted by Gunter who pointed a handgun at him and demanded all of the store’s iPhones. Gunter wore a gray hooded sweatshirt, dark jeans, and a navy blue bandana covering the lower part of his face. The store employee complied, taking him into the back and filling Gunter’s backpack with iPhone boxes and placing the rest of the phones in a Verizon bag. After leaving the store using the south exit door, Gunter got into a yellow Ford Mustang driven by 23-year old David Rowell, Jr. of Marion, South Carolina.

The Georgia State Patrol stopped their yellow 2006 Ford Mustang traveling southbound on I-75 in Acworth, Georgia at approximately 8:40 pm and recovered the phones and arrested Gunter and Rowell. The pair were brought to the Whitfield County Jail.

The Dalton Police Department has charged Gunter with armed robbery, kidnapping, aggravated assault, simple assault, making false statements to a law enforcement officer, wearing a mask to conceal identity, pointing a firearm at another, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. David Rowell, Jr. is charged with theft by receiving stolen property.

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Public Safety Commission Confirms New Officer

The Dalton Police Department welcomed a new officer to the ranks on Tuesday morning when the Public Safety Commission voted unanimously to confirm the appointment of Officer Tyler Hammontree.

Officer Hammontree is a 2003 graduate of Northwest Whitfield High School. He graduated from Shorter College in Rome with a bachelor’s degree in 2008. Officer Hammontree started his law enforcement career as a deputy with the Gordon County Sheriff’s Office in September 2013 and remained with that agency before being hired by the Dalton Police Department earlier this month. Before working in law enforcement, Hammontree worked with Whitfield County’s Environmental Health Department for three years and spent a year in Africa as a volunteer with the Peace Corps.

Officer Hammontree is now taking part in the department’s field training program, working in the patrol division with a more experienced officer as he receives on the job training during a probationary period.

Officer Hammontree’s hiring was confirmed by a unanimous 3-0 vote of the commission (PSC members Kenneth Willis and Carlos Calderin were not in attendance).

Below: Officer Tyler Hammontree (left) poses with Chief Jason Parker after his appointment was confirmed Tuesday morning by the Public Safety Commission

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Police, Community Leaders To Take Part In Community Forum

Leaders of both the Dalton Police Department and the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office will be participating in a forum on the relationship between police and our community next week. The Community Unity Forum, which is being jointly sponsored by the Rotary Club of Dalton and the Carpet City Rotary Club, will also include other community leaders as part of a panel discussion.

The forum will be held on Tuesday evening, October 25th from 6:00 pm until 7:30 pm at the Mack Gaston Community Center at 218 North Fredrick Street. Participating in the panel discussion will be Chief Jason Parker of the Dalton Police Department, Whitfield County Sheriff Scott Chitwood, America Gruner of the Coalition of Latino Leaders, Dr. Bonnie Samora of Dalton State College, and Bishop Stephen Thomas from the Community Fellowship Church of Ministries. The panel discussion will be moderated by David Aft of the Community Foundation of Northwest Georgia and Reverend Rodney Weaver and members of the audience will have the opportunity to present questions to the panelists.

Topics for discussion will include issues that are making national headlines such as the use of force by police and communicating with the community during a crisis. Local law enforcement leaders have had positive discussions with members of the community at a rally march and also a community cookout earlier this year. The forum is intended to build on that communication and make more connections.

“It’s important to stay in touch with all parts of the community, so we need to be talking today and build on the trust we’ve gained with our community,” said Chief Parker. “If we keep communication open, we’ll be able to handle tough situations better as one unified community.”

“I think it is very important that the citizens of the community have a direct connection to all that are in leadership roles,” adds Sheriff Chitwood. “It is my hope that those in attendance will come with encouraging words of support for those that are charged with keeping our community safe and at peace.  In addition, I hope that when the program is concluded, that it is clear, that simple hugs can be exchanged without having any particular reason.”

Chief Parker expects to hear some questions about use of force incidents that have made headlines around the country, and hopes to discuss the issue from the local perspective.

“Our local officers use force very seldom, especially when you consider the tens of thousands of contacts they have each year,” said Chief Parker. “We want to communicate that officers take many steps before resorting to force, and hopefully explain the level of accountability which governs officers’ actions. For years, our officers have been slowing things down in critical incidents like a barricaded, lone suspect. That approach takes much longer and uses more resources, but the outcome is fewer injuries to officers and suspects, and that suspect is held accountable for their actions.”

That won’t be the only topic of discussion at the community forum. Other topics for discussion will include police recruiting and how both law enforcement agencies are working to address concerns of the residents they serve. The forum is for all members of the Dalton and Whitfield County communities.

“Our officers are doing a great job in the community and we need to reinforce the message to all groups that our primary mission is to continue to keep the community safe,” said Chief Parker. “But no police department can do that acting alone. We need cooperation from our citizens. I think we have earned that, but we want to show that we don’t take it for granted”.

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Credit Card Stolen In Chattanooga Used In Dalton

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help with identifying a woman who used a credit card that was stolen from a mall in Chattanooga. The suspect was recorded on store surveillance in Dalton attempting to buy $750 in prepaid credit cards.

The credit card was stolen on October 1st when a woman’s purse was stolen from the dressing room area of Forever 21 in Hamilton Place Mall at approximately 2:30 pm. About half an hour later, a woman tried to buy diapers and the prepaid credit cards using a self-checkout station at the Kroger on West Walnut Avenue in Dalton. The suspect was able to purchase one $50 prepaid MasterCard at the self-checkout before the victim’s bank shut down the card for suspicious activity. After attempting to buy more prepaid cards two more times, the suspect left the stack of unpurchased credit cards at the self-checkout and left the store.

The suspect is a black female who wore dark-rimmed eyeglasses and a v-necked black-and-white striped shirt. She was traveling in a maroon four-door passenger car, possible a Mercury Sable. The vehicle has a sticker in the bottom right hand corner of the windshield. While the suspect was inside the Kroger, a heavy set black female got out of the car and was seen on video standing next to it. Pictures of the suspect and the vehicle are included below.

Also stolen in the purse was a “challenge coin” given to the victim’s boyfriend for marksmanship as an Army paratrooper. He is currently training to be an Army Ranger. The victim hopes to have that coin returned with her belongings. Pictures of the challenge coin are also included below.

Anyone with information on this crime or the identity of the suspect is asked to please contact Detective Brian Shirley at 706-278-9085, dial 9 and enter extension 189.

Below: The suspect pictured on store surveillance at the Kroger in Dalton; the stolen Army challenge coin, the suspect’s vehicle

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Suspects In Union City Break-Ins Linked To Dalton Crime

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help with identifying two men who broke into trucks in Union City and who investigators believe also broke into a car in Dalton. Stolen items from both incidents were later found dumped together in Manchester, Tennessee.

The break ins happened on September 29th. At approximately 1:45 pm, the suspects broke into two trucks in Union City, Georgia in the Atlanta metro area. They took several items including firearms and ammunition. The suspects did not realize that one of the trucks was equipped with a high definition surveillance camera which recorded the break-in. Both men can be clearly seen in surveillance pictures. Later the same day, at approximately 4:00 pm, a car parked in the parking lot of the Market Street Shops in Dalton was broken into. A briefcase containing a lap top computer and accessory equipment and other belongings was taken. The suspects were seen on surveillance cameras driving a dark colored Jeep Cherokee and a white pickup truck.

On September 30th, victims in both the Union City cases and the Dalton case were contacted by the Manchester (TN) Police Department. Items from the thefts were found dumped in a parking lot in Manchester. The victim in the Dalton incident recovered some of his property, including the briefcase itself. Some items, such as the computer, were still missing.

Because stolen items from both crimes were found together, Dalton investigators believe the two men in the Union City case are involved with the Dalton theft as well. Pictures of the two suspects are included with this release.

Anyone who can identify the two suspects is asked to please contact Detective Brian Shirley at 706-278-9085, dial 9 and enter extension 189.

Below: The suspects pictured by a surveillance camera inside of a vehicle in Union City, GA

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Half Marathon Will Close Some Roads On October 22nd

The Dalton Red Carpet Half Marathon will return to the streets of Dalton on October 22nd.  The half marathon, 5K, and 2K races will require several roads to be closed in the morning hours.  Dalton Police personnel will be on hand to help direct traffic around the race route, but motorists should plan alternate routes to avoid delays.

Roads and lanes around the course will be closed beginning at approximately 7:45 am and they will remain closed until the last runner is past which could be after noon.

Roads affected by the races will include:

  • King Street– closed but voters will need to park at the parking deck
  • Selvidge Street– closed from the entrance to BB&T to Crawford Street until 1:00 PM
  • Pentz Street– closed from King Street to Crawford Street all day. Closed from Emery Street to Morris Street during the 2k.
  • Hamilton Street– closed from Hawthorne Street to Franklin Street (until last runner of 5k passes, then closed at Emery Street on the south end)
  • Franklin Street– closed until the last 5k runner exits onto Thornton Avenue.
  • Thornton Avenue– outside southbound lane closed from Walnut Avenue to Waugh Street
  • Waugh Street– outside eastbound lane closed from Jones Street to Thornton Avenue.
  • Jones Street– closed from Waugh Street to Crawford Street
  • Crawford Street– closed from Cappes Street to Valley Drive
  • Ridge Street– Closed from Murray Hill to Crawford Street
  • Lewell Street– entrances to the east side of the cemetery at Cuyler Street and Gen Thomas Drive closed during the half-marathon
  • Emery Street– Closed at Tibbs Road and closed from Lewell Street to Thornton Avenue during the 5K and half marathon. Westbound lane closed from Hamilton Street to Pentz Street for 2K.
  • Miller Street– Closed from Franklin Street to Emery Street
  • Valley Drive– closed from Franklin Avenue to Crawford Street
  • Cuyler Street– closed between Thornton Avenue and Valley Drive
  • Walnut Aveune– outside, westbound lane closed from Thornton Avenue to Tibbs Road
  • Tibbs Road– closed between Walnut Avenue and Shugart Road
  • Maple Way/Ella Ln– closed
  • Woodvalley Drive / Woodvalley Court– closed
  • Shugart Road– outside northbound lane closed
  • Chattanooga Road– outside eastbound lane closed from Shugart Road to Old Chattanooga Road
  • Old Chattanooga Road– closed until the last half marathon runner is clear
  • Thornton Avenue– partial southbound lane closed (6 feet from curb) from Old Chattanooga Road to Trammel Street
  • Thornton Avenue– southbound lane closed from Trammel Street to Hawthorne Street
  • Hamilton Street– access lane beside the Waugh Street Bridge closed
  • Morris Street– closed from Thornton Avenue to Hamilton Street

For more information on the Red Carpet Half Marathon, visit the event’s website at daltonhalf.com.

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Man Sticks Computer Down Pants, Should Have Paid For It First

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help with identifying two people who shoplifted a laptop computer from Walmart. The suspect stuck a display model computer down his pants while a second suspect served as a lookout and then both walked out of the store.

The incident happened on October 2nd at approximately 3:00 pm at the Shugart Road Walmart. The two suspects, a white man and a white woman, arrived together in what appeared to be a dark colored Dodge Durango and then went directly to the electronics section at the back of the store. While the woman appeared to look out for store employees or other customers, the man worked to unclip one of the display laptops from its base. Once he got the computer free, the man shoved the laptop down the front of his pants. The male suspect then left the store through the grocery store side exit while the woman left the store through the pharmacy side exit.

The stolen laptop is a silver HP laptop computer, model number 15AU018WM with the serial number 5CD61953JY. The computer is valued at $799.00. The male suspect wore a v-necked red and white striped t-shirt with blue jeans (presumably relaxed fit so as to accommodate a computer) and a dark baseball cap. The suspect appears to have facial hair in surveillance images. The female suspect is heavyset and wore glasses with her dark hair pulled back in a bun and wore a dark t-shirt and jeans. Pictures of the suspects are included below.

Below: The suspects in store surveillance pictures

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DPD To Host Spanish Language Citizens Academy

The Dalton Police Department is now accepting applications for a three-week version of our annual Citizens Police Academy that will be conducted in Spanish. The classes will meet during the evenings of November 1st, 8th, and 15th from 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm.

The department has conducted an annual Citizens Police Academy in the late winter and spring for more than two decades to give Dalton area residents a behind the scenes look at all of the various functions of the agency. This will be the first time that a similar program will be offered in Spanish. Classes will be conducted by Spanish-speaking officers and staff and will teach participants about all aspects of the police department’s operations. The program is part of the agency’s strategic plan to improve communication and cooperation with the community.

“One of the fundamentals of successful policing and crime prevention is the ability of the police to receive cooperation and information during criminal investigations,” said Chief Jason Parker. “Without that trust and support, we are much less effective. In these three weeks, we hope to talk about the basics and remind everyone present that we need to work together to help crime victims and also work together to prevent crime.”

“Reaching every segment of our community helps everyone as a whole,” Chief Parker continued. “The fact that we have a sizeable group of people who are non-English speakers creates a barrier of communication with police and all emergency services. Statistics and research show that people generally only report about 40 percent of crime they know about, and that number is even lower in minority communities where they may not be aware of the opportunity to work with the police department to solve and prevent crime. Criminals are aware of that presence and intentionally target these people as victims of robbery, assault, and fraud. Even more concerning to the police department is that the potential exists for organized crime, such as human trafficking, to get a foot-hold. As a community, we should all be concerned about that.”

Classes will be held at 114 South Hamilton Street in downtown Dalton. People interested in participating in the class can apply online by clicking here.

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