Chattanooga police standoff ends without violence

Chattanooga police standoff ends without violence

January 23rd, 2012 by Perla Trevizo in News

Kenneth Cox of Chattanooga

Kenneth Cox of Chattanooga

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Neighbors of a man who barricaded himself in his home early Sunday said it was not the first time he had done something like this.

At about 5 a.m., Chattanooga police were called to 1310 Buckley St., where 40-year-old Kenneth Cox was threatening to harm others, according a news release.

Cox, who police believe has a history of mental illness, threatened officers when they arrived, and officers believed he was armed, the release stated.

Kasey Neal, who lives nearby, said Sunday she couldn't get home and had to wait several hours at a neighbor's house because her street was blocked by police cars. The same thing happened last summer, she said.

Her mother, Jacqueline Neal, who was visiting from South Carolina, said she only found out what was going on when her daughter called to say she couldn't go through.

"I just heard the sirens," said Jacqueline Neal. "There were police cars blocking the streets and the SWAT team outside his house."

Jeff Coleman said police knocked on his door before 5 a.m. and told him he had to evacuate because his neighbor was suicidal.

"We went to the corner to wait and later they came and told us it was going to take a while," he said.

The Chattanooga Police Department's Hostage Negotiation Team negotiated with Cox, and he surrendered peacefully after about two hours, police said.

He was taken to the Hamilton County Jail and charged with felony reckless endangerment and is awaiting a mental health evaluation.

He is scheduled to appear today in General Sessions Court before Judge Ronald Durby.

Since 1995, Cox has been charged for speeding, reckless driving, public intoxication and resisting arrest, records show.