November 28, 2012

Police chief on his morning jog nabs alleged burglar

Submitted by the Dalton Police Department

— Dalton Police Chief Jason Parker got a little more of a workout than he was planning on Thursday morning while enjoying his Thanksgiving holiday.

During his morning jog through the Murray Hill neighborhood near downtown Dalton, he ended up observing a burglary and helped arrest the suspect after a foot chase.

The incident happened at about 7:30 a.m . Nov. 22 as Parker was jogging south on Valley Drive. Parker saw a man, later identified as Thomas Daniel Green, 48, of 924 Avenue C, carrying a large bin full of items across Valley Drive in the direction of Thornton Avenue. As  Parker approached, Green spotted him and sped up, cutting through a yard near the intersection with Franklin Street and staying near the bushes.

Thinking this behavior was suspicious, Parker followed on Franklin to watch Green as he entered the backyard of a house at 622 Thornton Ave. As Parker watched from a hidden spot, Green entered an outbuilding on the property. Parker didn’t have a cellphone with him, so he asked a couple walking on Franklin Street to call police. They went to their house to make the call.

Parker watched as Green carried several items from the outbuilding and set them with his bin. Parker then walked towards Green to confront him. After Parker called out to him, Green fled, running west. Parker identified himself as a police officer and ordered Green to stop several times. As Parker, an avid runner in his spare time, gave chase the suspect dropped several items and kept running. After running through several properties through Valley Drive, Parker finally caught up to Green and managed to trip him up and get him into custody.

Parker walked Green, who continued to struggle, back towards the intersection of Thornton and Franklin, where he met officers as they arrived. After officers placed Green in handcuffs, Chief Parker helped them retrace Green’s steps where they recovered a stolen hammock and throw pillows, which were later found to have been stolen from a home on Valley Drive, as well as a bin of brooms and cleaning supplies which were stolen from the shed at 622 Thornton Ave.

“I just reacted the way any of our officers would,” Parker said of the incident. “Thanks to the citizens who relayed my request for assistance to 911 and the quick arrival of patrol officers, we were able to take this guy off the streets and return the stolen property to the rightful owners. What started out as a chance encounter resulted in a great team effort.”

Green was charged with obstruction of an officer, burglary and theft by taking.