Citizens Honored for Providing Assistance to Officers in Apprehending Fleeing Felon

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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News item

Citizens Honored for Providing Assistance to Officers in Apprehending Fleeing Felon

Posted: 03/08/2017
Mayor Rogero, Agouine, Chief RauschKnoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and Police Chief David Rausch today awarded a Citation of Excellence to two citizens for providing assistance to officers while attempting to apprehend a fleeing felon.  

On September 20, 2016, Knoxville Police Department Officers Christopher Hutton and Christopher Williams were dispatched to a possible overdose of an unconscious male in a vehicle near 120 Green Road near Chapman Highway. Prior to the officers’ arrival, EMS had determined that the individual was under the influence of an unknown narcotic and requested KPD assistance. Upon arrival they identified the suspect and confirmed multiple outstanding warrants. The suspect fled. After a more than 400 yard foot pursuit, the suspect entered a vehicle occupied by an 11-year-old boy and his 74-year-old grandmother and attempted to carjack them. When the officers converged on the suspect, he was pushing the elderly woman out of the car. Officers entered the vehicle and fought with the suspect to prevent the suspect from harming the two victims, taking the car, and prevent the drug addled suspect from driving. Officer Williams drive-stunned the suspect with his Taser twice, which allowed Officer Hutton to get the child out of the passenger side of the car. The suspect, while sitting on top of the 74-year-old female driver and Officer Hutton on top of him struggling to control the suspect’s movements, put the car in reverse and started backing out of the parking lot.

A Good Samaritan, Adel Agounine, witnessed the events unfold. Mr. Agounine gallantly drove his vehicle directly behind the victim’s vehicle to prevent the suspect from getting away. The vehicles collided. Mr. Agounie prevented the suspect from dragging the officers and the victim, who was partially outside of the driver’s door at this point, through the parking lot. The officers briefly subdued the suspect, which allowed the elderly victim to exit.

Mayor, Richards, CHiefGood Samaritan, Steve Richards, saw the fray and came to the officers’ aid, which enabled them to remove and secure the suspect without further incident.  The 11-year-old victim was unharmed and the 74-year-old female was distraught and received minor injuries to her arm. 

The suspect had been driving a stolen U-Haul box truck that was involved in a hit and run earlier in the day on Rutledge Pike at Loves Creek. During that incident the suspect and an unknown white female passenger struck 3 vehicles and a bridge abutment while trying to flee the scene.

Chief Rausch said, “The suspect was a violent fleeing felon that would stop at nothing to avoid capture as shown in both incidents. Mr. Richards and Mr. Agounine had no duty to assist the victims or the officers. Their selfless acts in the face of inherent danger brought about swift resolution to this violent encounter.”

Click here to view a listing of KPD award winners.