Man who hit intruder with baseball bat was already wanted for aggravated burglary
A man wanted for aggravated burglary is finally brought to justice. And it's all thanks to tips from the community.
Wednesday, October 15th 2014, 6:10 pm EDT
Thursday, October 16th 2014, 9:52 am EDT
The man who beat an intruder with a baseball bat last week is now behind bars.
He told the officer he was someone else the night it happened. But after doing a TV interview on Channel 3 earlier this week, police realized he was actually a wanted man.
The alleged intruder who was hit with the baseball bat, Butch Brown, was charged with aggravated burglary. The victim who hit him was already wanted for the exact same thing.
"He reached in his back and said I've got a gun, I'm gonna kill you," the man told Channel 3 earlier this week. He told police his name was Kevin Miller.
"Individuals were calling in after seeing the piece on air, saying that he was not who he had identified to us as," said Chattanooga Police Asst. Chief David Roddy.
Roddy said tips started coming in after Channel 3's story, saying "Kevin Miller" was actually Christopher Guthrie, who had an open warrant out for his arrest.
"We started pulling booking photos, looking up names and managed to confirm exactly who that individual was," Roddy said.
Guthrie was arrested Tuesday afternoon. He was wanted for aggravated burglary after after he and another man, James Winnie, allegedly forced their way into the same home where last week's break-in occurred.
There, Guthrie allegedly threatened a man who was helping his friends move. Winnie allegedly hit the victim over the head with a lead pipe.
Fast forward three months to last week's break-in -- police didn't check Guthrie's ID at the scene. Roddy said it's not required when it comes to crime victims.
"If you're the victim of a crime, we realize how traumatic that is at that moment in time," he said. "So then to be pressured to try to prove to us who you are, sometimes can be a little overreaching. That can be a little more impactful than we think we need to be towards someone that has just been victimized."
Now police are thankful for the community's help in sorting out the truth.
"They all came together, truth was brought out," Roddy said. "That individual ended up where he was supposed to go, and that was in fact the Hamilton County Jail."
Guthrie is still in the Hamilton County Jail on a $7,500 bond. In July Winnie turned himself in and has since bonded out of jail. Both men accused of assaulting the man during the June burglary are due in court next month.
Anyone can call the following numbers to report information: To report a crime or request assistance: (423) 698-2525, Crime Stoppers Hotline: (423) 698-3333 and Drug Tip Hotline: (423) 493-BUST (2878).
Calls can be made anonymously.