Local News

January 6, 2010

Dalton man sought in connection with shooting incident

Arrest warrants have been issued for an individual stemming from an incident in which a deputy shot at a suspect early Tuesday morning, officials said Wednesday evening.

The Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has warrants for Robert James Cunningham, 37, of Dalton, for aggravated assault, possession of methamphetamine, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, possession of tools for the commission of a crime, fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement and reckless driving.

Sheriff’s Maj. John Gibson said two deputies had stopped a Jeep Tuesday that matched the description of a vehicle connected to an alleged robbery earlier that morning at the Guest Inn in Rocky Face. A passenger in the vehicle obeyed deputies’ commands to exit, but Gibson said the driver pulled the vehicle away from the scene, striking one deputy and the passenger before a deputy fired at the vehicle. Gibson said the passenger fled while the deputies were distracted.

Aaron Clark, 21, of 117 Downing St. in Dalton, was later arrested by the Dalton Police Department and charged with robbery in connection with the incident at the motel. Sheriff’s officers have described him as a “person of interest” in the shooting incident. Gibson said the Jeep was recovered and had blood inside it but Clark was uninjured.

Clark was visiting his aunt from Kentucky and a cousin at the motel, police said. As he was leaving, Clark allegedly grabbed the woman’s purse and fled, jumping into a dark-colored Volvo. The purse reportedly contained $600 in cash, prescription medicines and the woman’s Social Security card.

After the victim reported the robbery, authorities broadcast a lookout for the Volvo. Officers pulled over a vehicle matching the description with Clark’s parents inside. A police department press release said they told officers Clark got out of the Volvo and into a red Jeep at the Walmart off Shugart Road. Officers arrested Clark at his home. Bond was set at $4,500 for Clark in Magistrate Court on Wednesday, according to jail officials. He remained in the jail Wednesday evening.

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