Councilman unlikely to be charged, DA says

Councilman unlikely to be charged, DA says

May 27th, 2009 by Todd South in News

District Attorney Steve Bebb said Tuesday he still is gathering information on an alleged burglary that prompted a Cleveland city councilman to fire shots and the suspect to crash his car trying to escape Friday.

Mr. Bebb said he hasn't made a final decision but at this point he does not plan to press charges against Councilman George Poe.

"I wouldn't cover up for him for a million dollars, but I wouldn't go after him just because he's a city councilman," Mr. Bebb said.

Randall Brogdon, 48, was booked into the Hamilton County Jail on Friday on aggravated burglary charges. Mr. Brogdon also faces charges in Chattanooga and parole charges in Georgia, where he lives, Mr. Bebb said.

Mr. Brogdon will face traffic charges and possibly other charges in Bradley County, Mr. Bebb said.

He said he will review interviews and evidence from the Cleveland Police Department, Tennessee Highway Patrol and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which is assisting the department.

Mr. Poe, 65, said he shot at Mr. Brogdon's vehicle as it tried to run him over while driving away with his son's lawnmower on Friday afternoon.

He said he saw the Toyota Avalon with a Georgia tag pull into the driveway of his son's home across the street from his own home. When he saw a stranger load the lawnmower into the trunk, he said he want to the driveway, about 10 feet away, and yelled.

He said Mr. Brogdon jumped into the Avalon, reversed and struck a storage at his son's house, then drove forward toward him.

Mr. Poe said he was trapped between two fences, so he drew a .380 Ruger semiautomatic pistol he carries in his pocket and fired one shot as the car swerved near him. He said he fired the rest of his shots into the air to scare off Mr. Brogdon.

Then he used a police radio in his car to report the incident and describe the car and drove to APD 40 to see if he could spot the car heading back to Georgia. He said he was driving home when a Cleveland detective radioed asking if he knew the direction the car had headed.

A neighbor told Mr. Poe, who drove that way and later spotted the Toyota at the intersection of Parker and Inman streets, about two miles from his home.

When Mr. Brogdon spotted Mr. Poe, he reversed and tried to drive through the intersection, hitting two other vehicles, the councilman said.

A passenger in one vehicle, Tiffany Wilson, was injured. She could not be reached Tuesday for comment.

Cleveland police took Mr. Brogdon and a woman identified as his wife, Sandra Brogdon, into custody, records show.

On Tuesday, Cleveland police spokeswoman Evie West said police do not advise people to try to stop or interfere in crimes. She said witnesses should gather as much information as possible and call police.