UPDATE: Three gang members arrested after crashing stolen truck into building
Chattanooga Police have arrested three validated gang members for stealing a truck and crashing it in to a building on McCallie Avenue.
Tuesday, May 26th 2015, 9:47 am EDT by
Tuesday, May 26th 2015, 6:39 pm EDT
Chattanooga Police have arrested three validated gang members for stealing a truck and crashing it into a building on McCallie Avenue.
Officers spotted the truck traveling down McCallie Avenue going 62 mph in a 35 mile per hour zone and a chase began.
Officers and witnesses observed the truck swerving in and out of traffic and running red lights almost hitting other vehicles. Officers lost sight of the vehicle.
Moments later a crash was reported at 1098 McCallie Avenue.
The truck crashed in to the building just before midnight Monday, causing part of the building to collapse.
It is hard to miss the gaping hole a the McCallie Avenue building, created after a truck crashed into it.
"It just looks like the building's about like my truck, like it's a total loss," says Joe Henderson.
Henderson got an early-morning call from police letting him know his truck, stolen in April, was found.
"A 2015 Toyota Tundra. 4,000 miles."
Police say 20-year-olds Edward Duckett and Dominique Jarrett, along with 22-year-old Brandon Arnold were inside, three gang members who have been in trouble before.
All three were arrested last year for a drive-by shooting.
Police found crack cocaine and two loaded guns inside the stolen truck.
"People that steal things are really pretty stupid, you know? To be still riding on the streets in a vehicle that's stolen is insane," says Henderson.
Video surveillance at a nearby business caught a glimpse of the truck, moments before it crossed McCallie and slammed into the building.
"I had just fallen asleep and I get a call approximately 12:30 from the police," says Cynthia Rice, the building owner.
Rice has owned the building for 15 years and is still processing what happened.
"I'm very calm. I'm a very calm person so I'm not the hysterical type. I thought, 'Ok. Well, you know, let's call the insurance company.'"
She says thankfully no one was inside the building at the time.
"My loved ones are fine and that's all that's important to me," says Rice.
Crews spent part of Tuesday afternoon clearing debris from the street.
Rice says she is waiting to hear from inspectors if the building can be saved.
There is no word on the dollar amount of damage that was done but both the building owner and the truck owner have insurance.
As for those three suspects, they are expected to appear in court next month.