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Copyright 2005 Chattanooga Publishing Company
Chattanooga Times Free Press (Tennessee) August 19, 2005 Friday

Man shot while trying to kill officer, police sayBy Candice Combs; Staff Writer
A Chattanooga Police Department officer is on routine paid leave after he shot and injured a burglary suspect after an alleged assault with a truck early Thursday morning, Chief Steve Parks said.

"It looks like the officer was in harm's way," Chief Parks said. "It appears he used reasonable force."

He said Officer Phillip Moser was patrolling near the Solutions Pharmacy, 4632 Highway 58, at 3:30 a.m. and noticed a broken window. Inside, he spotted the suspect, 24-year-old Dustin S. Douglass, rummaging about.

The suspect saw Officer Moser and sprinted from the business, Chief Parks said. Mr. Douglass ran two blocks and jumped into a Mazda pickup truck, according to police.

"The officer followed and was met head on," Chief Parks said.

Officer Moser yelled for the suspect to stop, but Mr. Douglass continued toward him, striking Officer Moser with the passenger-side mirror of the truck, Chief Parks said. The officer fired his gun seven times, but the suspect continued driving south on Highway 58, the chief said.

"We began an intensive search of the area," Chief Parks said.

Authorities found Mr. Douglass' bullet-riddled truck parked nearby at Rustic Village North Apartments, 4616 Sunflower Lane. Mr. Douglass was holed up inside an apartment with a minor gunshot wound to the elbow and other trauma to the right shoulder, Chief Parks said.

He was treated at Erlanger hospital and released Thursday, according to Sgt. Tom Layne, spokesman for the Chattanooga Police Department. Officer Moser did not seek medical attention after being struck by the truck, he said.

The last time a Chattanooga officer was injured seriously was in July 2004 when Officer Christian Lorenzen was pushed down a railroad track embankment near North Wilder Street, records show.

Chattanooga had the state's third-highest officer assault rate in 2003, according to a report by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. State officials surveyed 250 law enforcement agencies to determine assaults and deaths of police in 2003, the latest year analyzed.

The report showed that officers reported 2,241 on-duty injuries and three deaths statewide. In Chattanooga, 78 officers were hurt, compared to 347 in Memphis and 244 in Nashville, the report stated.

Chattanooga major crimes and internal affairs investigators are conducting a joint probe into Thursday's shooting and officer assault and will review whether Officer Moser followed proper policy and procedure, Sgt. Layne said.

Sgt. Layne said Officer Moser never has been involved in a shooting.

Mr. Douglass has been charged with attempted first-degree murder, burglary and vandalism, court officials said. He also was cited for driving on a suspended license and had an outstanding warrant against him for theft in Hamilton County.

He is being held on a ____ bond at the Hamilton County Jail. He is scheduled to appear in Hamilton County General Sessions Court on ____.

E-mail Candice Combs at [email protected]
 
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