published Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Police: Signal Mountain man asks officers 'Do you want to die today?'

Signal Mountain police said they approached a man in his driveway Sunday evening who had a weapon in his hand.

"I'm very good with a gun," Richard Larry Garner told officers, according to an arrest report. "Do you want to die today?"

Minutes earlier, someone called police and said the sounds of a woman screaming could be heard from 3810 Chestnut Ridge Lane. Officers Richard Allman and Dustin McCall responded. McCall said two women stood at the doorway, screaming and crying, and Garner stood in the driveway, next to his truck.

He had been drinking, police said, and blood seeped from a wound on his head.

Garner, 55, pulled out a gun, according to a police report. He threatened to kill himself. Then he threatened to shoot the officers and asked for them to fire back.

Eventually, Garner put down his gun, and officers charged him with two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated assault of a public employee and one count of possessing a firearm during commission to commit a dangerous felony.

Garner left Hamilton County Jail on Monday after paying a bond of $41,000. He is scheduled to appear at Signal Mountain Municipal Court on July 25.

Officers found Garner's daughter and wife, Joanna Garner, with swelling and bruises on their faces. Joanna Garner also had a deep cut on her upper lip, according to an arrest report.

She told officers that Richard pushed their daughter during an argument, and Joanna tried to separate the two. According to the report, that is when Richard punched her in the face.

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