September 10, 2019
By: Dwayne Page
A fugitive who led local officers on a pursuit before crashing his car on Puckett’s Point Road and fleeing the scene on foot with his son in February was sentenced Monday in DeKalb County Criminal Court.
34 year old George Forest Brown entered a plea to reckless endangerment and evading arrest and received a two year sentence in each case to run concurrently. He is to serve the term in the Tennessee Department of Correction but was given jail credit from February 17 to September 9. Two other charges against him for aggravated burglary and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon were dismissed.
Sheriff Patrick Ray said Brown was found in a lake home on Happy Trails Lane off Puckett’s Point Road Sunday night, February 17. His son Chase Brown, believed to be 10 years old, was with him.
According to Sheriff Ray, Brown had broken into the residence after discovering the owners were not at home. As officers were conducting a door to door search in the Ponder Road and Puckett’s Point Road area, a deputy and THP trooper spotted a window broken out in the home where Brown was hiding.
Officers made entry but Brown hemmed himself in a bedroom with his son and refused to come out making verbal threats toward the officers. But he eventually gave himself up without incident and was taken into custody. He had on him a large knife.
Brown was taken by deputies to the emergency room of the hospital to be checked out before being transported to the jail for booking. Brown’s son was taken to the hospital by DeKalb EMS for examination.
Brown was wanted in Hillsdale, Michigan for a pursuit there the previous week in which he fired shots at Michigan officers
Brown and his son disappeared into the woods off Puckett’s Point Road after the crash. A tracking dog from the Smith County Sheriff’s Department K-9 unit was used to assist officers in the search. Sheriff Ray said the dog picked up a scent and came upon some items in the woods which officers believe Brown discarded. The dog lost the scent near the lake.
Sheriff Ray had requested the Tennessee Highway Patrol send a helicopter but an aerial search could not be done due to the weather.
The car that Brown was driving and crashed is a light blue Mercury Marquis with a Michigan tag that does not belong to this car. The vehicle identification (VIN) number is registered to another individual in Indiana.
Reverse 911 calls were placed to residents in the area of Puckett’s Point Road and Ponder Road warning them to keep the doors to their homes and automobiles locked and to report any sighting or suspicious activity.
According to Sheriff Ray, the story began to unfold at 12:23 p.m. on February 17 when a resident on Shoreline Drive off Coconut Ridge Road reported that a man (Brown), acting suspiciously, had come to his door saying he got his car stuck on a walking trail at Shoreline Drive and needed help getting out. While deputies were enroute the caller assisted the man in pulling his car out of the mud and back onto the road. The caller said the man had a bowie knife on him at that time. Although a knife was found at the crash site, officers didn’t know for sure if it was the same one the suspect had on him earlier.
When the deputies spotted Brown’s car near the intersection of Coconut Ridge Road and Savannah Drive, they noticed that it was swerving on the road at 20-30 miles per hour. After pulling the car over, Brown drove off before officers could confront him. They initiated a pursuit from Coconut Ridge Road to Allen Street and then to the end of Big Hurricane Road when Brown turned his car around the tried to ram it into the deputies cars. Brown then led officers on a pursuit from Big Hurricane Road onto Cookeville Highway and then Ponder Road where he crashed his car through an iron gate at the end of the road. Brown again turned around and tried to ram his car into the deputies cruisers before leading them down Ponder Road back to Cookeville Highway. Troopers from the Tennessee Highway Patrol were waiting at the scenic overlook on Highway 56 after dispatch reported that the suspect was spotted heading in their direction.
Instead, Brown turned onto Puckett’s Point Road and county officers continued to follow until Brown’s car went off the road at around 1:10 p.m.. Brown and his son then abandoned the car and fled on foot into the woods. The state troopers who had been at the scenic overlook arrived to investigate the crash and to assist county officers at the scene.