Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Barricaded Suspect Arrested After Stand-Off at Local Motel

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At about 2:15, deputy sheriffs were dispatched to the Express Inn on State Route 225 near Interstate 75 in response to a report of criminal activity and possible fugitives from justice. The deputies made contact with two individuals, subsequently identified as Schalles Williams, age 55, of 211 Arrow Drive, Signal Mountain, Tennessee, and a male subject. Deputies arrested the woman outside her motel room, but the male produced a weapon before fleeing back inside the room. Other deputy sheriffs rapidly responded to the motel and cordoned off the area. After the male subject refused efforts to communicate with the officers, the Georgia State Patrol SWAT Team was summoned to the scene. State troopers attempted to negotiate with the man without success either. The troopers then deployed an armored, special purpose vehicle and broke down the motel room door and window. OC gas was deployed before the troopers subsequently entered the room and took the male, who has been identified as Wesley Swartout, age 52, who gave his address as 689 Highway 225, Calhoun, Georgia, into custody. No one was seriously injured in this incident, with the exception of a few officers irritated by OC gas. Williams and Swartout have both been lodged in the Gordon County Jail. The investigation is still very active, and detectives are still at the scene gathering evidence. More details regarding the circumstances and criminal charges will be released as they become available.






UPDATE: 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 27, 2020:

Regarding the the arrests of Wesley Swartout and Schalles Williams at Express Inn yesterday, afternoon: a number of complaints had been received from an occupant of another room at the motel who reported that the offenders Swartout and Williams were fugitives who were involved with illegal drugs, counterfeiting, fake identification documents, and firearms. Two deputies were at the motel to investigate these complaints, and while talking to the offenders, determined that they were wanted by authorities in Tennessee. The deputies arrested Williams without resistance. Swartout however, produced a handgun and pointed it at the deputies. One deputy fired at Swartout, who retreated back inside his motel room and barricaded himself inside. Swartout was not hit by the deputy’s shot. Other deputies, and subsequently the State Patrol SWAT Team arrived at the motel and after the standoff apprehended Swartout. Sheriff’s detectives secured a search warrant for the crime scene and conducted a thorough search of Swartout and Williams’ motel room and the surrounding area. They took a number of items into custody as evidence, including a partially loaded handgun, ammunition, drug-related paraphenalia, fake identification documents, fake license plates, counterfeit money, an electronic credit card reader, computers and printers, and cash. The detectives also impounded a recreational vehicle (camper), two motorcycles, and a car. Williams is reported to be wanted by authorities in Bradley County (Cleveland), Tennessee for Forgery. Swartout is reported to be wanted by authorities in Hamilton County (Chattanooga), Tennessee for Forgery. At the time of his arrest, Swartout was reported to have been free on bond after having been arrested in Chattooga County, Georgia in January, 2020 for fraud, firearms related offenses, and obstructing law officers. Here in Gordon County, Swartout is being charged with Aggravated Assault Against Peace Officers,  firearms-related offenses, and fraud-related offenses, as well as being held for other jurisdictions. Williams is still being held for other jurisdictions as well. More charges against the pair are expected. Sheriff Mitch Ralston said, “I commend all of the officers, state and local, who successfully resolved this issue and effectively apprehended a dangerous offender and his co-conspirator. The State Patrol are great partners to have in our mission of keeping Gordon County safe, and we know that we can always call on them. My deputies also did a good job in identifying these violators and collecting the evidence necessary for prosecution. We are thankful that no innocent people were hurt, and this incident serves as a reminder of how dangerous law enforcement can be, and how fortunate our community is to be served by the individuals on my staff as well as the State law enforcement agencies.”