published Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Two arrested after officer assaulted at Track 29

  • photo
    Richard Wetherbee is charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after an incident at Track 29.
    Courtesy Chattanooga Police Department

Two men were arrested Thursday night after a Chattanooga police officer was assaulted at the grand opening of a new music venue downtown, according to police.

Richard Wetherbee and Timothy Hicks, both 43, were arrested at Track 29, 1400 Market St.

Police were dispatched after Hicks became belligerent with security at the venue, Chattanooga Police Department Sgt. Jerri Weary said in a statement.

When police arrived, Wetherbee interfered with police getting to Hicks, according to the statement.

Wetherbee, who grabbed officer Daniel Cholota and refused to let him pass, eventually was shot with a stun gun, Weary said.

Hicks punched Officer Sean Emmer in the face, attempted to gouge Emmer’s eye and reached for his service weapon, according to police.

A fight ensued between those two, and officers took Hicks into custody.

Both Emmer and Hicks were taken to a hospital for treatment after receiving non-life threatening injuries, according to police.

Hicks faces charges of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, public intoxication and aggravated assault on police. Wetherbee was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, police said.

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harrystatel said...

Where's the Beer Board? Where's the outrage? Where's the . . .

Oops! Just realized this is ex-mayor Kinsey's protected venue.

Nevermind. But they do have sprinklers.

September 2, 2011 at 11:19 a.m.
Pizzaguy said...

Maybe they ought to host an amatuer MMA event, with these 2 on the 1st card of the night!

September 2, 2011 at 11:19 a.m.
PaulWilson said...

Fights occur almost everywhere. There's no way to stop stupid people behaving like idiots. Track 29 has great security I'm sure but, even escalated to a point in which they felt it neccessary to involve police. This is what should happen at any event or non-event. This does occur in other areas of town and at other venues. I'm not sure why this has become such big new all of a sudden but, bar fights, disagreements over some dudes' girl, or accidental drunken behavior turned heated happens, and has happened forever.

What's next...reporting school yard spats or bus stop fights? Come on people...grow up.

September 2, 2011 at 12:06 p.m.
jrox said...

When did assault on a police officer become like "school yard spats or bus stop fights"?

September 2, 2011 at 1:16 p.m.
harrystatel said...

"When did assault on a police officer become like "school yard spats or bus stop fights"?"

When it's a property owned by an ex-mayor.

September 2, 2011 at 1:22 p.m.
sangaree said...

I'm not sure why this has become such big new all of a sudden but, bar fights, disagreements

Paul,It all became big news when certain downtown businesses wanted to sway the Beer Board to shut down certain nightspots that cater to a certain clinetele. Certain busineses that wanted to make downtown venues exclusive for a select few only.

September 2, 2011 at 1:49 p.m.
hcirehttae said...

"Fights occur almost everywhere. There's no way to stop stupid people behaving like idiots."

Excuse me, I thought that's why we had laws and police. I do not, DO NOT, accept this jaded line of reasoning. Violence is news, unfortunately. I don't want it swept under the rug because Mr. PaulWilson thinks it is trivial or ubiquitous. We need to work on reducing violence in all venues and situations -- period -- in homes, sporting events, schools, streets, and even overpriced restaurants.

September 2, 2011 at 1:50 p.m.
Pepper said...

This is so not correct... I was standing right there and they failed to mention how the police assaulted the other victim..Yes he was drunk but no he wasnt fighting back... As he staggared backwards about to fall down himself two of the officers tackled him. As he laid there in the floor pinned down with his arms above his head from falling back into the concrete surface the large officer climbed onto his chest and proceeded to punch him in the face between 10 to 15 times with his head against the concrete floor leaving a big puddle of blood from the back of his head and face (people should request to see the other guys mug shot)..Not sure how they could call something like this non life threating... When people in the crowd starting booing the police officers and telling them that what they done wasnt right,and calling them cowards the large officer pulled his pistol and aimed it at the guy standing directly behind me and my girlfriend. (Holding it sideways as if he was some kinda gangser himself) Not very professional at all if you ask me. Even after the guy was knocked out with blood everywhere from head,face,and neck injuries they handcuffed him and pulled him up into sitting position by his arms,then drag him out. After sustaining injuries like that you would think they could at least used a strecher or something? Jamey Johnson done great by the way.(Never missed a beat during the whole thing)...

September 2, 2011 at 2:12 p.m.
PaulWilson said...

That is what would have made this story news. I wonder why the writer of this story didn't tell us about that? Or did the editor omit these details. Truth in reporting people. The only reason this story was run in the first place is probably to make the violence problem in downtown Chattanooga's nightlife sound worse than it really is. And just to be clear, I don't condone violence against police...on the other hand, if it went down the way the previous commenter said then the cops should be locked up just them same.

September 2, 2011 at 2:18 p.m.
jesse said...

if he pulled his pistol in that situation ,waving it around at the crowed he is prob.gonna be history shortly!! like to know who he was!

September 2, 2011 at 2:22 p.m.
Pepper said...

Not sure who the cop was but I am sure they posted it this way to cover up them getting into any type of trouble. Besides where do you think we get our news from????? The officers report to the media and the media reports to us....Perhaps they just forgot to include their brutalities.

September 2, 2011 at 3:06 p.m.
harrystatel said...

With all the cell phones with cameras, start taking videos of all transactions involving the police. Upload them immediately to prevent confiscation of cell phones that lead to the "mysterious disappearance" of those videos.

If you get stopped by the police, they have cameras on you. Install your own cameras to record them.

But remember to upload that footage immediately.

September 2, 2011 at 3:30 p.m.
PaulWilson said...

That's exactly my point Pepper. There's no such thing as truth in reporting anymore. There's only biased reporting. There is always going to be something left out of the reported details.

September 2, 2011 at 3:34 p.m.
TinaFrench said...

I'd bet what you saw as a pistol was actually a stun gun.

September 2, 2011 at 3:38 p.m.


Your stories are entertaining but why not tell us how the black helicopters and Bilderbergers are also involved?

September 2, 2011 at 3:53 p.m.
PaulWilson said...

It may not be the whole story but, at least John Wilson (No relation by the way) tries to get more detail out in the open. more of the truth here

September 2, 2011 at 3:54 p.m.
harrystatel said...

No reports of black helicopters or Bilderbergers at the scene, but if there was video of the encounter, we could see for ourselves, couldn't we?

What's wrong with photographing police as they go about their duties? Or are the police the only ones allowed to do that?

September 2, 2011 at 4 p.m.
slimjim300 said...

dont make me pull out the atomic ellllbooow BRUTHA!!!

September 2, 2011 at 4:22 p.m.
dude_abides said...

Shooting video of the police is illegal in 12 states now (unless they give you their consent).

September 2, 2011 at 5:20 p.m.
harrystatel said...

"Shooting video of the police is illegal in 12 states now (unless they give you their consent)."

All the more reason to do it. And to upload it fast.

September 2, 2011 at 5:27 p.m.
Pepper said...

To TinaFrench: they still had the stun gun in hand also but The larger officer that beat the guy pulled his pistol from his side holster. He's the only officer that was really out of line. The others done their jobs well to restrain the two civilians without violence. TO: dude_abides. thanks for that piece of info.. its bad enough we have to protect ourselves,and family from others but its even worse when we cant protect ourselves/family from the authorities.

September 2, 2011 at 5:49 p.m.
tderng said...

dude_abides...what 12 states?

September 2, 2011 at 5:55 p.m.
chioK_V said...

Pepper, hispanics, blacks and poor whites have been warning of these type steroid hyped, and who knows what else they're on, for years. The police departments looked the other way. The citizens looked the other way. Should it always take some middle classed white guy getting the sh*T beat out of him before people wake up? These type cops don't deserve the honor of being dog catchers let alone serving and protecting the public. Looks like the BIG cop you're referring to must have been Officer Emmer. Most cops these days are on some pretty strong meds., prescription and other. Meds and stuff that would disallow the average citizen from being allowed to drive, let alone carry a weapon. And certainly not allowed to interact with the public. Not to mention most are alcoholics.

September 2, 2011 at 6:04 p.m.
rolando said...

Doesn't matter which 12 at this point.

See The cited info originated with Judicial Watch.

That was a federal appellate court. If allowed to stand, it preempts state law.

Excellent decision and written opinion, by the way. It was the First Circuit Appellate Court. I especially loved the closing paragraph about who records what and how the video is disseminated. That keeps our newspapers relatively in line and under control. Gotta love the Internet.

September 2, 2011 at 6:16 p.m.
macropetala8 said...

dude_abides, so cops can record citizens, but citizens can't record the cops beating the crap out of them? That's bullSH!T!!

September 2, 2011 at 6:21 p.m.
rolando said...

It is indeed, macro. Even the court agrees.

September 2, 2011 at 6:27 p.m.
tderng said...

was reading that the 1st circuit court ruled that it is not illegal to film police officers in the course of their duties.

September 2, 2011 at 6:27 p.m.
midnitewatchman said...

Shootings almost daily, Murders almost one a week, Flash mobs at parks to the point extra police needed to work overtime to keep everything ok, all of the other crimes going on, and when a drunk gets out of line at a club and police escort him out, he fights with the police and you say brutality? I am guessing there were hundreds of other people there that did not go to jail? Wonder what they did right? The article said he was to be escorted out, sounds like it was just a night on the town cut short until he decided to fight and no doubt agged on by the crowd, then it was time to go to jail. If you cant hold your liqour, stay home and dont ruin the night for those that want to act like adults and have fun!

September 2, 2011 at 7:42 p.m.
Legend said...

Why aren't they showing the pic of the other guy? Did the cop beat him so bad they can't show his pic?

Most modern countries are actually either downsizing their police forces or considering privatizing them. With today's technology a physical presence of cops is no longer needed as much. Plus, when they screw up it can cost hundreds of thousands and even millions to local governments. At some point the U.S. will get smart too and realize this stormtrooper mentality cops have adopted has actually become a costly albatross and detriment to them.

Pepper if everything you say is true, and there are witnesses, hopefully all of you will go and testify on behalf of these two patrons.

September 2, 2011 at 9:45 p.m.
Pepper said...

chioK_V : I agree this cop did look like he was on some serious steroids. Must have just been having a steroid rage moment???

midnitewatchman: I do agree with you to a certain extent. I am very proud of our law men and women for the jobs that they do,and for the ones that were there that handled it in a professional manner.However, I do not agree with the way this one officer handled the situation. Also you have to remember that this guy wasn't even fighting back,and when the people in the crowd did say something they got a gun pointed at their faces by that particular officer. Imagine if it was your son/daughter that was standing there and the guy behind him/her yelled at the officer that what he was doing was wrong and the officer accidentally shot him/her. Would you still say that he was just doing his job by waving a loaded gun at the crowd??? I am not on here to make anyone angry, I was just googling track29 fight to see if the guy was even still alive. But when I read the way it was told I just thought everyone deserved to know the truth. That is what's wrong with the world today. No one wants to know the truth. They just want the dirt...

Legend: I can't vouche for the one in the pic above, but I can for the other one. And yes that is why they wont show his pic.

September 2, 2011 at 10:47 p.m.
dude_abides said...

No downside for police when they arrest you and put you through a legal grinder for months/years, then drop charges or have charges thrown out. Same chilling effect. Troubling, too, that the police cars had Palin 2012 stickers on them. Go figure.

September 2, 2011 at 10:58 p.m.
jesse said...

he's prob.still in the hosp.and hasn't been booked yet so no mug shot!

September 3, 2011 at 2:14 p.m.
01centare said...

Google Allen Kephart, 43 and see why police reform in America is long overdo.

Mr. Kephart was Tasered to death for simply honking his horn at a California cop after the cop pulled out in front of him. As usual, the dept. has gone into C.Y.A. mode, backing the officers involved. The officers are using the usual he resisted lie.

September 3, 2011 at 5:27 p.m.
Justice2323 said...

I was there too. Im glad this issue is brought up, I was starting to think that it was going to go unnoticed. What Pepper said is true.. Here's my take:

I was watching the concert and all of a sudden I see a scuffle right next to me. I look over and see some pushing and shoving. (I do not know the reason). At this point, the cops step in and a large, tall, bald cop hits Hicks in the face. Hicks then goes to the ground. The cop hits Hicks again and knocks Hicks unconscious. This was probably necessary just to be able to arrest Hicks. At this point, the cop should have flipped Hicks over and arrested him because he was unconscious. That did not happen. After the second punch, which knocked Hicks unconscious, the large bald cop continued to punch Hicks in the face for 25 seconds minimum. I could feel the ground shake from Hicks' head bouncing off the ground. I literally thought that Hicks was dead after the cop stopped beating his face in. I am a fan of cops 99% of the time, but not in this case. This was, without question, police brutality and justice needs to be served.

September 3, 2011 at 7:47 p.m.
Echo said...

Well, with a idiot police chief what do you expect? Contact the States's AG and file a complaint. This is how lawsuits begin against the city that you and I end up paying for. A gun and a badge do not equal a licence to beat up on middle aged drunks. Any cop drawing a weapon sideways should just be tossed off the force for being a D-bag.

September 3, 2011 at 8:50 p.m.

Thank you to Pepper and anyone else who witnessed this event that comes forward with the truth. These reports are complete fabrication of what happened. I didn't think I could be shocked any more after witnessing this until I saw these reports. I would like to know that there is a video out there somewhere. The guy in the mug shot is my husband and I was standing beside him or would not believe it myself. We are normal every day people, he goes to work every day and comes home every night to his family and is a successful entrepreneur and contributing member of the community that minds his own business and doesn't bother any one. We were enjoying the concert like everyone else there-THIS COULD HAVE BEEN ANY ONE STANDING NEAR BY AND COULD BE YOU NEXT! This was our first concert in Chattanooga in over three years we were looking forward to an enjoyable night. I don't know that we will ever fully recover from this ordeal.I would have never believed this actually happens in our town!

September 4, 2011 at 4:15 p.m.
jesse said...

hicks mug shot is now on know. got a BIG shiner and a beat up face!

no turban so not as bad as i expected!!

the cop has to be a knuckledrager to do this in front of that many people.i.q. about the same # as his shoe size!

btw:i would bet that midnightwatchman is a retired cop!!

September 6, 2011 at 10:18 a.m.
Beth_Burger said...

I write for the Times Free Press and I'm working on a follow up story. If any of you witnessed the incident and don't mind sharing your story, I can be reached at or 423-757-6406.

September 6, 2011 at 1:56 p.m.
Pepper said... Click or copy and paste this link... It looks like the boys are at it again.. Same cops but different victim.. This goes beyond excessive force, If the attorney would investigate, i'm sure he would learn that these are the exact same officers that was involved in the beating of the guy i spoke of in the above article on opening night of track29 starring Jamey Johnson. These are officers that swore under oath to serve and protect. They should be held at a higher standard and made accountable for their actions. Our judicial system should make an example of these guys to insure that this doesn't continue to occur.

March 1, 2013 at 1:03 a.m.
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