Man charged with trying to run down officer

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Chapel Hill man was arrested and served with several warrants relating to an incident at Forrest High School last week.

An incident report at the Marshall County Sheriff's Department states that Joseph Daniel Caldwell, 18, of Hearthstone Drive, Chapel Hill, was arrested by Deputy Cecil Thrasher, served with nine warrants, and transported to the Marshall County Jail at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 9.

The Chapel Hill Police Chief, Jackie King, provided The Tribune with his police department's narrative of the incident that took place about 12 hours before Caldwell's arrest.

According to the narrative, Chapel Hill Patrol Officer Chris Speck was dispatched to FHS because the back door and hall alarms had been set off.

"Upon arrival," Speck's report states, "I saw a black Ford Ranger parted in the grass behind the school. The truck had been driven between the guardrail, bushes and building to get to where it was parked."

"I started to approach the vehicle and saw two male subjects running out of the building," wrote Speck. "I activated my blue lights, yelled 'stop police department' numerous times, and they proceeded to get in the truck. The driver started the truck and started to leave the scene. As he was leaving, he tried to run me over while I was outside my patrol car (and) he hit the front of my patrol car....I blocked him between the guard rail and the school (and) both the driver and the passenger fled on foot."

The narrative on file with the Chapel Hill Police Department recounts how Speck caught and arrested the fleeing passenger who turned out to be a 16-year-old. The arrested boy and the truck's registration both confirmed that the truck's owner was Caldwell, and he turned himself in to the Chapel Hill Police Department later the same day.

Speck concludes his report by stating a search of the school revealed that lockers had been opened and their contents scattered and that the alarm key pad had been ripped off the wall in the office.

The offences listed on Caldwell's warrants were: vehicular assault, vandalism, burglary, evading arrest, leaving the scene, vandalism of government property, under-age possession, reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon, and violation of the open container law.

Caldwell appeared in General Sessions Court on Dec. 16, and his case was continued until March 10.