The clerk told Smith he was calling the police, he said. The suspect fled the store and drove east on Battlefield Parkway. Fort Oglethorpe Police Officer Jeff Holcomb chased Smith down South Cedar Lane to Cloud Springs Road. Passenger Marshon Langford, also of Chattanooga, then leapt from Smith’s red Saturn. “When the car slowed down enough, Langford just came out of the car with it still in motion,” Blevins said. The officer followed Smith to Mineral Avenue and onto Battlefield Parkway, where Smith drove east at a high rate of speed down the westbound side of the roadway, Blevins said. No motorists were injured in the chase.
Smith recklessly turned into the Century Station shopping center and sped across the parking lot through a fenced-in area behind Holcomb’s Garden Center, the detective said.
“When (Smith) ran into the building, the manager saw the officers and told customers to clear the building,” Blevins said. “When we got there, everybody was coming outside in a full run.” The detective said Smith was apprehended without incident in the garden center’s upstairs offices.
“There was nowhere else for him to run to,” Blevins said, adding Smith’s passenger was not involved in the crimes.
Langford “didn’t know what was going on. Apparently, Smith had told him ‘Hey, I need to stop in here and do a little business,’” Blevins said. Langford “just didn’t know what kind of business (Smith) was getting into.” The detective said police recovered the two cartons of Newport cigarettes stolen from the store. They also recovered the check he attempted to pass in the incident and another stolen check.
Blevins said the Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School resource officer and Catoosa Sheriff’s Department assisted in the arrest