Witnesses want charges filed after alleged threats from gun-toti - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports


Witnesses want charges filed after alleged threats from gun-toting homeowner

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A group of Bradley County residents claim a man pointed a gun at them, and they're upset he's not facing charges.

But investigators said they received a different side of the story, and charges were not warranted.

"I asked, why is the man not in handcuffs? He threatened our lives," said Josh Ptak.

Ptak wants to know why a man was never arrested after he said he came face-to-face with a man's rifle earlier this week.

He said he was driving on Young Road in Bradley County on Tuesday, when he saw a homeowner holding a trespasser at gunpoint in the front yard.

When Ptak pulled over to see what was going on, he said, the homeowner turned the gun on him.

"He pointed the gun at us and said, if we didn't get out of there now, in polite words, that he was gonna kill us," Ptak said.

By this time, several people were stopped at the intersection. They all tell the same story.

"He pointed it towards us and said, 'Y'all better get the F out of here, or I'm gonna kill you'," recalled witness Roger Webb.

"He said if everybody didn't get out of there, he's gonna kill us all," said Trevor Ezell, 10, who also witnessed the incident.

"My grandson's life was in danger. My life was in danger. Everyone was in danger," Barbara Lowe told Eyewitness News.

The trespasser took off before Bradley County deputies could arrive. Videos taken on scene show officers spoke to several witnesses, including this group.

However, the homeowner was never arrested. Investigators said he was protecting his property, and other witnesses statements corroborated that.

Bradley County Constable Dewayne Hicks was there, and said the man should've gone to jail.

"When you have six people telling the same story, there's something there," Hicks said. "It's the old saying, where there's smoke, there's fire."

According to a news release from Bradley County Sheriff's office, "The constable, who has authority to make an arrest, was at the scene and never expressed that an arrest was merited."

Now Hicks is firing back.

"The first officer on scene is in control of that situation," Hicks said. "I was 10 minutes behind the ones that were already there. It's not my place to take over that scene, and Sheriff Watson knows that."

The group of bystanding witnesses want to pursue charges against the homeowner.

A spokesperson for BCSO said the constable can still file warrants against the homeowner. The department stands by what they did, he said, but they welcome hearing additional statements from the witnesses.

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