Man escapes burning home to be tased by police officer - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Man escapes burning home to be tased by police officer

Story by Melydia Clewell
Assignments Manager/ Investigative Reporter

SODDY-DAISY, TN. (WRCB) -- A Soddy Daisy man managed to escape his burning home this morning but ended up in the emergency room due to what he calls "excessive police action."

Matt Newsome says the day started just like any other. He was shaving in the bathroom of his trailer on Back Valley Road when he heard screaming and ran into a bedroom to find the back wall of the trailer burning. At first he tried to fight the fire himself, with a garden hose. He then thought to get a fire extinguisher but says he couldn't find one. He, his girlfriend and another couple staying with them made it out alive. Then Newsome remembered his miniature schnauzer, Coco, was still inside and Newsome became frantic to save her.

"I panicked over my dog," Newsome admits. He says he was running around the burning trailer, yelling for the dog when a police officer tased him. He fell and hit his head. Newsome says it took five staples to close the gap in the top of his head. To add insult to injury, the officer cited Newsome for Disorderly Conduct.

The Red Cross will provide a three night hotel stay for Newsome and his girlfriend. After that, they're on their own. Red Cross Representative Will Rowe told Eyewitness News that the couple did not have insurance.

"It's always different, but it's always the same. The people who can least afford it are the ones who wind up with the mess and the chaos," Rowe noted.

Test results should help investigators narrow down the cause of the fire.

Coco is still missing. Firefighters did not find her body, so Newsome is holding out hope she may have made it out of the trailer and run away, though he admits that's not likely.

Meanwhile, Newsome is due in court in two weeks on that disorderly conduct charge.



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