published Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Chattanooga police arrest three suspected robbers

Three men were arrested Thursday after police say they robbed a man at gunpoint and stole $3,000 in cash — all $20 bills.

Darran Nowells, 25; Dathan Rice, 25; and Lemanuel Townsend, 29, are each charged with aggravated robbery and criminal conspiracy. According to the affidavit of complaint, victim Marcus King told police he accepted a ride home from two women around 12:55 p.m.

But instead of turning into King's apartment complex, the driver turned onto Central Avenue, where a Cadillac cut them off and stopped them in the road at 5238 Central Ave. At least three men jumped out of the vehicle.

Two blocked the doors of the car so King could not get out, according to the affidavit. The other man pointed a silver handgun into the car and demanded King's money. The trio then allegedly made off with about $3,000 in $20 bills.

As King gave his report to Chattanooga police, officers spotted the Cadillac on Interstate 24. Officers stopped the car and discovered the three suspects inside.

They had $1,800 in the center console and Townsend had $1,140 more, according to police. All the money was in $20 bills.

Police also found a 9mm silver gun on the entry ramp to the interstate, a few hundred feet before the traffic stop, the affidavit states. All three suspects have lengthy criminal histories.

Since 2007, Townsend has been charged 29 times with offenses ranging from sexual battery to driving on a revoked license. In the same time frame, Nowells has faced 18 charges, and since 2008, Rice has been charged with 42 different offenses ranging from domestic assault to criminal trespassing.

All three suspects are scheduled to appear in Hamilton County Sessions Court on Aug. 26.

Contact staff writer Shelly Bradbury at 423-757-6525 or with tips or story ideas.

about Shelly Bradbury...

Shelly Bradbury covers police and crime in Chattanooga and Hamilton County for the Times Free Press. She's been with the paper since 2012, working first as an intern and then as a business reporter. She is from Houghton, New York, and graduated from Huntington University in Huntington, Indiana, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minor in management. Before moving to Tennessee, Shelly previously interned with The Goshen News, The Sandusky Register and The Mint ...

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