Chattanooga police major crimes detective relieved of duty after DUI charge

photo David Ray Catchings

Chattanooga Police Department major crimes detective David Ray Catchings Jr. has been placed on administrative leave and will be subject to an internal affairs investigation after being charged with driving under the influence, implied consent law and reckless driving, according to an affidavit from the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office and a police statement.

A witness called in about Catchings, 34, on Monday morning after Catchings' black Dodge Charger almost struck the caller's vehicle head-on several times. The caller observed the Charger weaving in and out of other lanes of traffic, and he followed the Charger until the driver pulled over in the parking lot of Lakewood Baptist Church.

When police responded at the parking lot, they identified Catchings and his girlfriend, Sarah Creekmore, who was also in the vehicle. They found several beer bottles in the vehicle, and neither Catchings nor Creekmore could remember where they were going. Both admitted to drinking.

Catchings failed a field sobriety test, struggling to balance on one foot or walk in a straight line. His speech was slurred, and both he and Creekmore smelled strongly of alcohol.

Creekmore also appeared to be drunk at the time of the incidents. Catchings is married, and the affidavit states his wife was called to retrieve Catchings' car.

Catchings attempted to get out of the arrest and charges by using his status as an officer.

"It should be noted during that during this entire incident, [his] mood changed from compliant to hostile," the affidavit read. "He advised several times that he was a cop and asked to try and work things out."

Catchings refused to give his phone number to the officer on the scene or the jail, and he also refused to submit a blood test to determine his blood alcohol content.

"He advised we were brothers and I should be arresting bad guys," the police officer present wrote in the affidavit. "He stated his aunt signs my paycheck and advised I was a rookie and didn't know anything about police work."

Catchings posted a $4,650 bond, and his court date is set for Sept. 22.