Lake Chatuge Pursuit Ends in Arrest of Burglary Suspect

Press Release
Lake Chatuge Burglary Suspect

On​ ​August​ ​17,​ ​2017​ ​at​ ​6:04​ ​pm,​ ​two​ ​Hiawassee​ ​Police​ ​Department​ ​officers​ ​responded​ ​to​ ​the area​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Hiawassee​ ​Antique​ ​Mall​ ​in​ ​reference​ ​to​ ​a​ ​burglary​ ​in​ ​progress.​

​Upon​ ​their​ ​arrival,​ ​the officers​ ​were​ ​told​ ​by​ ​witnesses​ ​that​ ​the​ ​suspect​ ​fled​ ​on​ ​foot​ ​into​ ​the​ ​wooded​ ​area​ ​behind​ ​Fred’s.

With​ ​the​ ​assistance​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Towns​ ​County​ ​Sheriff’s​ ​Office,​ ​Georgia​ ​Department​ ​of​ ​Natural Resources,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​Towns​ ​County​ ​Fire​ ​Department,​ ​a​ ​perimeter​ ​was​ ​established​ ​around​ ​the area​ ​where​ ​the​ ​suspect​ ​was​ ​seen​ ​fleeing.​ ​TCSO’s​ ​bloodhound,​ ​Copper,​ ​quickly​ ​picked​ ​up​ ​a scent​ ​and​ ​lead​ ​officers​ ​into​ ​the​ ​wooded​ ​area.

​​Shortly​ ​afterwards,​ ​the​ ​suspect​ ​was​ ​seen​ ​fleeing across​ ​Bell​ ​Creek​ ​Rd​ ​and​ ​behind​ ​McDonald’s.

As​ ​officers​ ​closed​ ​in​ ​on​ ​the​ ​suspect,​ ​he​ ​entered​ ​the​ ​water​ ​and​ ​began​ ​to​ ​swim​ ​out​ ​into​ ​Lake Chatuge.​

​With​ ​the​ ​suspect​ ​in​ ​the​ ​water,​ ​TCFD​ ​was​ ​requested​ ​to​ ​launch​ ​their​ ​boat​ ​from​ ​Station​ ​1 in​ ​the​ ​event​ ​that​ ​a​ ​rescue​ ​was​ ​required.​

​The​ ​suspect​ ​attempted​ ​to​ ​swim​ ​to​ ​several​ ​docks,​ ​but was​ ​met​ ​by​ ​officers​ ​at​ ​each​ ​of​ ​them.​ ​He​ ​finally​ ​exited​ ​the​ ​lake​ ​in​ ​the​ ​area​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Towns​ ​County Senior​ ​Center,​ ​where​ ​he​ ​was​ ​placed​ ​into​ ​custody​ ​without​ ​further​ ​incident.

The​ ​suspect​ ​was​ ​identified​ ​as​ ​Nathan​ ​Brice​ ​Garrett,​ ​age​ ​29,​ ​of​ ​Hayesville,​ ​North​ ​Carolina.

​​He has​ ​been​ ​charged​ ​with​ ​Burglary,​ ​Criminal​ ​Trespass,​ ​Possession​ ​of​ ​Tools​ ​for​ ​the​ ​Commission​ ​of a​ ​Crime,​ ​and​ ​Obstructing​ ​Law​ ​Enforcement​ ​Officers,​ ​and​ ​is​ ​currently​ ​being​ ​held​ ​at​ ​the​ ​Towns County​ ​Jail.​

​Mr.​ ​Garrett’s​ ​vehicle​ ​was​ ​at​ ​the​ ​scene,​ ​and​ ​is​ ​being​ ​held​ ​as​ ​part​ ​of​ ​the investigation.​ ​He​ ​is​ ​presumed​ ​innocent​ ​until​ ​proven​ ​guilty.

Chief​ ​Paul​ ​Smith​ ​stated,​ ​“The​ ​Hiawassee​ ​Police​ ​Department​ ​appreciates​ ​the​ ​assistance​ ​from the​ ​Towns​ ​County​ ​Sheriff’s​ ​Office,​ ​the​ ​Towns​ ​County​ ​Fire​ ​Department,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​Georgia Department​ ​of​ ​Natural​ ​Resources.​ ​This​ ​shows​ ​what​ ​is​ ​possible​ ​when​ ​different​ ​agencies​ ​work together​ ​for​ ​a​ ​common​ ​goal.​ ​Sheriff​ ​Clinton​ ​and​ ​I​ ​will​ ​continue​ ​working​ ​together​ ​and​ ​sharing resources​ ​to​ ​ensure​ ​the​ ​safety​ ​of​ ​Towns​ ​County’s​ ​citizens​ ​and​ ​visitors.”

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