Chattanooga police detective on leave after DUI charge

photo Chattanooga Police Officer David Catchings

Chattanooga police detective David Ray Catchings Jr., 34, is under investigation by internal affairs after being charged with drunken driving, according to an affidavit from the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office and a statement from the Chattanooga Police Department.

Catchings, who works in the major crimes division, is charged with driving under the influence, violating the implied consent law and reckless driving, the agencies said. He has been placed on administrative leave.

A witness reported Catchings to police Monday morning after Catchings' black Dodge Charger almost struck the caller's and several other vehicles.

The caller saw the Charger weaving in the traffic lanes and followed the car until it pulled over in the parking lot of Lakewood Baptist Church at 6626 Hunter Road.

Police arrived and identified Catchings and a woman passenger, Sarah Creekmore. They found several beer bottles in the car. Neither party could remember where they were going and both admitted to drinking, according to the affidavit. Catchings failed a field sobriety test and had slurred speech, and both he and Creekmore smelled strongly of alcohol.

The affidavit states that 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, the affidavit stated.

"It should be noted 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 at 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 arresting officer wrote. "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 has a Sept. 22 appearance scheduled before General Sessions Court Judge Gary Starnes.

Contact staff writer Hannah Smith at or at 423-757-6731.