Teen escapees nabbed at Dalton gas station

By TIM SINIARD
Posted 11/7/18

The two 16-year-old Bradley County Juvenile Center escapees who were arrested Tuesday in Georgia will be charged as adults, according to 10th Judicial District Attorney General Steve Crump.The two …

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Teen escapees nabbed at Dalton gas station

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The two 16-year-old Bradley County Juvenile Center escapees who were arrested Tuesday in Georgia will be charged as adults, according to 10th Judicial District Attorney General Steve Crump.

The two had escaped the juvenile center Friday.

According to a joint press released by the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office public information officer Adam Lewis and Cleveland Police Department public information officer Sgt. Evie West, the capture of Memphis Smith and Abraham Augustin occurred after an incident involving an armed carjacking Tuesday morning on McCutcheon Road in Chattanooga, where descriptions of the vehicle and suspects were released to all local law enforcement agencies to be the lookout. The carjackers then reportedly fled toward Georgia.

Augustin was already facing attempted second-degree murder charges after a shooting incident in which three people were wounded.

Smith was facing a charge of aggravated rape, stemming from an attack on a student on the Lee University campus last month.

According to the joint statement, shortly before noon, the vehicle was spotted by law enforcement officials in the parking lot of the Pilot Gas Station at 244 Connector Three S.W. in Dalton, Ga. 

Whitfield County, Ga., law enforcement took both juveniles into custody without incident.

In addition to the original charges of attempted first-degree murder and aggravated rape, bothwill now face charges of felony escape and felony auto theft out of Bradley County. 

District Attorney Steve Crump said the two will be brought back to Tennessee and charged as adults.

“Our office has begun the process to bring the two escapees back from Georgia to Tennessee,” Crump said. “Once they are here, our office will move quickly to set dates for a hearing seeking to transfer all of the pending cases against the two escapees to Criminal Court and dispose of their cases as adults. When you commit an adult crime, you should be treated accordingly.”

Additional charges can be expected out of Hamilton and Whitfield Counties due to this morning’s carjacking, the press release stated.

Bradley County Sheriff Steve Lawson said he was grateful the public is safe.

“We are relieved that these two individuals are in custody, and the general public is once again safe from further criminal acts by these two,” Lawson said. "It has been a 24/7, around-the-clock effort, and I am grateful for a peaceful outcome.”

Cleveland Police Chief Mark Gibson thanked those involved in the multiagency effort to nab the pair.

“We were concerned for the safety of the public, and are grateful that both individuals are back in custody,” Gibson said. “I appreciate the cooperation between every agency involved in the investigation and search.”

Lewis and West said they would like to thank all regional law enforcement agencies who assisted in the mutual aid, search and capture of both juveniles, specifically the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations, the Chattanooga Police Department, the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, the United States Marshals Service, the Dalton Police Department and the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Department. 

“Without the help of these agencies, we would not have been able to achieve a safe and peaceful resolution to this incident,” Lewis and West said. “We would also like to thank the public for their overwhelming support in this effort.  Several tips helped lead authorities in their investigation and search.”

Cleveland Mayor Kevin Brooks said the CPD worked many long hours to help capture the juveniles.

“We are thankful for the CPD and their hard work in helping locate  the two escapees.”


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