Mt. Juliet police search for fraud suspect

Photo courtesy of Mt. Juliet police
Mt. Juliet police seek the public’s assistance to identify a man suspected last Wednesday of fraudulent use of a credit card.

Mt. Juliet police officers seek a suspect they believe used a fraudulent credit card Wednesday in the area of Mt. Juliet Road near Old Lebanon Dirt Road.

The suspect was caught on surveillance camera and is a white, dark-skinned adult who wore a white polo and red shorts.

Anyone who sees someone who fits the description or has any further information about the incident should call 911.

By Jacob Smith

Stalking suspect found inside walls of home after barricade

A suspect wanted for aggravated stalking was found inside the walls of a home she had barricaded herself in on Escalade Drive in Mt. Juliet late Thursday night.

According to Mt. Juliet police Capt. Tyler Chandler, the woman was wanted about 4:30 p.m. for reportedly stalking the neighborhood with a knife.

“In the evidence that we have, she was walking around, while stalking, armed with a knife,” said Chandler. “She wasn’t threatening anyone with it, she was just stalking while armed with a knife.”

The woman apparently barricaded herself in a house, and officers had to wait for a judge to approve a search warrant to go inside. The Mt. Juliet police crisis negotiation team tried to coax the woman out of the house while they waited for a warrant.

“We also wanted to give her plenty of time to come out on her own,” said Chandler. “Using our special response team to go inside a home is our last resort.”

When the officers went into the house with a warrant, they were unable to find the woman until one of the officers heard a noise in the wall. They found she had gotten stuck when she tried to hide from the officers inside the walls of the house.

“It’s believed that she got into the wall by going into the attic and then just dropping herself down between the bedroom wall and exterior wall of the house,” said Chandler.

It took officers some time to get the woman out of the walls, and when they did, she was taken to a local hospital for evaluation.

“It’s pretty unusual,” said Chandler. “It’s a first for me, and the other officers on scene definitely haven’t seen this before, but if someone’s attempting to evade police, it’s likely they’re going to use whatever means to try to stay away from us or hide from us, and it’s clear she was hiding from us.”

The woman involved in the incident was arrested for a domestic violence incident just a few days prior.

Chandler said once she was evaluated at the hospital, she would be taken to the Wilson County Jail and charged with aggravated stalking.

By Jacob Smith

Argument on child’s birthday led to fatal shooting

Mark Bellew • All Hands Fire Photos
Wilson County sheriff’s deputies search for Thomas Adams after he allegedly shot his wife following a domestic dispute on their child’s birthday.

The fatal shooting last Wednesday afternoon that ended with an alleged shooter dead in an apparent suicide appears to have started as a domestic dispute between a husband and wife on their child’s birthday.

According to Wilson County sheriff’s Lt. Scott Moore, Jessica Adams brought her two children to a home at the corner of Gwin Place and Quarry Road in Mt. Juliet where the children’s father, Thomas Adams, was at the time. The two parents got into a fight, and Jessica Adams took the children inside the home then stepped back outside to continue the argument.

A resident inside the home called 911 to report the altercation, and as deputies responded, the resident reported shots were fired, and Jessica Adams was possibly hit.

When deputies arrived, they found her lying on the ground with a gunshot to the stomach. Thomas Adams had already left. Deputies tried to help Jessica Adams until Wilson County Emergency Management Agency paramedics arrived. The paramedics took her by ambulance to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, where she was later pronounced dead.

Deputies searched for Thomas Adams in the nearby area and enlisted the help of a K-9 unit, a Tennessee Highway Patrol helicopter, a special response team and Mt. Juliet police officers.

The searchers were able to contain him in an area off the roadway around the 6600 block of Hickory Ridge Road. Negotiations took place for several hours while he threatened to kill himself. The officers found Adams dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound shortly after dark.

Thomas Adams had an extensive criminal history in Wilson County on a variety of charges, including domestic violence that involved Jessica Adams, who was also arrested once in March on a domestic assault charge that involved him.

Moore said it was unclear if the two planned to hold a birthday party for their child or Jessica Adams brought the children to see their father, because it was one of the children’s birthdays.

By Jacob Smith

Sex offender caught after viral Facebook post

Daniel Harris

Wilson County sheriff’s deputies charged a man last Wednesday with violation of the sex offender registry after a viral post on Facebook accused him of the crime.

Daniel Sherman Harris, 75, of Mt. Juliet, was charged with violation of the sex offender registry after Mora Cole’s Facebook post that accused him went viral Tuesday night.

Cole said in the post Harris convinced her to come to his chicken farm and bring her child with her. Cole convinced her husband to go with her, and said Harris seemed upset with the fact her husband was there.

“When [my son] got in the car, I told [Harris} I will never buy eggs from him again,” said Cole. “I could sense he was a potential threat to my child.”

She was so disturbed by the interaction with him, she looked him up when she got home and found him on the sex offender registry. He was also working at the Donelson Farmer’s Market last year reportedly trying to convince families to come visit his farm.

Deputies arrested Harris on Wednesday afternoon they saw the Facebook post. According to Wilson County sheriff’s Lt. Scott Moore, investigators checked into the complaint and found Harris was in violation of the sex offender registry.

“We want to remind everyone that if you observe suspicious activity going on, to directly contact our office at 615-444-1412 so that we can immediately investigate the situation,” said Moore.

By Jacob Smith

Victim flown to Vanderbilt after dump truck accident

LifeFlight paramedics flew a driver in critical condition of a dump truck that flipped on its side last Tuesday afternoon to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

According to Wilson County Emergency Management director Joey Cooper, the accident happened at about 11:45 a.m. at 1175 E. Division St. in Mt. Juliet.

The unidentified truck driver was still inside, and WEMA first responders had to remove him. He was in critical condition with multiple injuries and was flown by emergency helicopter to Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s emergency room in Nashville.

The road was closed for about two hours while crews worked to get the driver out and clear the scene.

By Jacob Smith

Local girl raises more than $1K for fallen deputy’s family

Photo courtesy of Facebook
Law enforcement officers and other first responders support 6-year-old Caroline Freeman’s lemonade stand Saturday that raised money for fallen Dickson County sheriff’s Sgt. Daniel Baker.

A local girl started a lemonade stand last weekend to raise money for the family of Dickson County sheriff’s Sgt. Daniel Baker, who was killed May 30 in the line of duty.

Six-year-old Caroline Freeman raised $1,125 for Baker’s family in less than five hours at her lemonade stand at 1734 Wrencrest Drive in the Cambridge Woods subdivision in Mt. Juliet.

According to Freeman’s mother, Cherish Piche, a few houses in the neighborhood had yard sales, and Freeman wanted to do a lemonade stand.

“I told her we would donate all of the money we make from the lemonade stand to the charity of her choice,” said Piche. “She chose Sgt. Daniel Baker’s family.”

The stand offered lemonade, bottled water, cookies, gourmet donuts, freeze pops and juice boxes. Several people stopped by just to donate to the cause and even more donated to the cause via PayPal.

Several Mt. Juliet police officers, Wilson County Emergency Management Agency responders and other Wilson County first responders stopped by to thank Freeman and buy lemonade from the stand.

“She touched all of our hearts [Saturday], and her compassion reminded us of the goodness in our world,” said Mt. Juliet police Capt. Tyler Chandler. “We appreciate Caroline, so much, for her support of fellow law enforcement officer, Dickson County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Daniel Baker and her efforts to help the Baker family.”

Piche shared a video Saturday afternoon for Freeman to thank everyone who helped raise the money for Baker’s family.

“Hi everyone, thank you for coming to my lemonade stand today, and we sold $1,125 for Sgt. Baker,” said Freeman.

By Jacob Smith

Car burglary suspect charged for second time in Willoughby Station

Jason Tallent

Mt. Juliet police charged an Hermitage man with car burglary early Sunday morning, which was the second time he was charged in less than a month.

Mt. Juliet police Capt. Tyler Chandler said officers arrested Jason Michael Tallent, 27, when he was found breaking into unlocked cars in Willoughby Station. Chandler said a homeowner spotted Tallent and called police.

Tallent was charged Sunday with burglary of a motor vehicle and theft of property and booked in at the Wilson County Jail on $7,500 bond, where he remained.

On May 17, Tallent was charged with burglary of a motor vehicle, unlawful possession of a weapon and public drunkenness and booked in at Wilson County Jail on $5,000 bond. He was released three days later and remained out on bond Sunday when he was charged for the second time.

By Jared Felkins

Sheriff’s Citizens Academy participants graduate

Photo courtesy of Facebook
Participants in the 10th class of the Sheriff’s Citizens Academy graduated May 22.

Participants in the 10th class of the Sheriff’s Citizens Academy graduated May 22 and received a certificate of completion.
“The purpose of the Sheriff’s Citizens Academy is to foster better communications between citizens and deputies through education and cooperation,” said Wilson County sheriff’s Lt. Scott Moore. “A well-informed citizen is more likely to share their experiences with the community as the opportunity arises. Everyone benefits from enhancing citizens’ understanding of the role and function of the sheriff’s office.”

The participants completed a 12-week course where they were taught about every aspect of the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office to familiarize them with each division.

“We appreciate [Wilson County sheriff’s] Lt. James Lanier for directing the academy, photographer Kristen Allen, instructors, the Citizens Academy Alumni Association and Sheriff [Robert] Bryan for his support and allowing the citizens academy to take place,” said Moore. “We hope that you enjoyed your time here with us and [are] looking forward to working with each of you in the future.”

By Jacob Smith

Ex-Wilson Central band director sentenced on child porn charge

Martin McFarlane

Martin Drew McFarlane, former co-director of the Tullahoma High School band and former Wilson Central High School band director, was sentenced to five years in prison followed by five years of supervised release on child pornography charges Thursday in federal court in Chattanooga.

Jennifer Johnson, Wilson County Schools spokesperson, said McFarlane started working for the district in 2008 as a band teacher between Southside Elementary School and Wilson Central. She said he resigned from Wilson Central in 2015 to take the Tullahoma band director position.

His originally slated March sentencing date was postponed to allow McFarlane, while free on bond, time to complete a 16-week therapy program that began Jan. 29 and ended May 21.

McFarlane’s attorney, assistant federal defender Myrlene R. Marsa, filed the March motion to postpone, Marsa said McFarlane’s counseling would provide insight when imposing a sentence “sufficient but not greater than necessary for the case.”

Prosecutor assistant U.S. attorney James Brooks did not object to McFarlane’s request to postpone McFarlane’s sentencing. However, the prosecutor did object to his attorney’s motion for a variance that would allow McFarlane to seek a sentence below the recommended guideline range. McFarlane’s attorney asked the court to impose a term of five years, “which would amount to a 60-month downward variance from the low-end of the recommended guideline range.”

Marsa’s motion argued McFarlane’s treatment for addiction to child pornography during mitigation. The government conceded the point but considered the case aggravated by McFarlane’s role as a teacher of children and his failure as an addict to remove himself from the presence of children before his arrest.

The charge against McFarlane carried a minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of 20, along with a fine of up to $250,000 and a mandatory term of five years of supervised release.

Despite the government’s objection, U.S. District Judge Harry S. Mattice Jr. handed down the five-year sentence and waived the fine.

Following the five years in prison, McFarlane will be subject to another five years of supervised release. The conditions of the release include continued mental health treatment, participation in a drug or alcohol abuse testing and treatment program, participation in DNA collection and compliance with sex offender laws. Additionally, McFarlane will be prohibited from owning a firearm.

McFarlane was indicted Aug. 22, 2017, by a federal grand jury on one count of transportation of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. Following an FBI and Tullahoma police search of McFarlane’s Tullahoma home, the indictments were handed down May 11, 2017.

McFarlane struck a plea bargain with prosecutors, and he entered a guilty plea Dec. 14 to one count of transportation of child pornography before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christopher H. Steger in federal court in Chattanooga. By agreeing to the deal, the possession of child pornography charge was dropped, and McFarlane avoided trial.

In addition to federal charges, McFarlane also faced misdemeanor drug charges from Tullahoma police after marijuana was found during the search of his home.

Local police charged him with manufacture, sale and delivery of a schedule VI drug and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. He entered a guilty plea to those charges in Coffee County general sessions court and was given a suspended sentence of 11 months, 29 days and a $250 fine, court costs and Coffee County probation.

McFarlane, a 2004 Tullahoma High School graduate, was hired as the co-director of the band program in 2015. McFarlane resigned from his position at the high school a day after his arrest on drug charges.

By Kelly Lapczynski

The Tullahoma News

Report of scammers impersonating sheriff’s office

According to Wilson County sheriff’s Lt. Scott Moore, reports surfaced recently of a telephone scam where people call and claim to be with the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office to solicit money from residents.

Moore said a group of people call residents and tell them they will be jailed if they do not come up with a $1,000 payment.

One of the numbers used in the scam is 615-549-8696. When that number is called, there is an automated voice that says you have reached the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office. It then goes into many options to be reached by dialing an extension number.

“So far, there have been a couple victims,” said Moore. “The sheriff’s office will never conduct business in this manner. We will not tell anyone to go buy prepaid gift cards and have you to call us with the number on those cards to pay a fine. Our main number is 615-444-1412. If you ever need to authenticate something that doesn’t sound right, you can always verify by calling our number.”

Staff Reports

DUI, evading suspect leaves hospital, reward offered

Steven Summers

A DUI suspect who led officers in a chase is currently wanted after leaving a hospital’s care.

Mt. Juliet officers pursued 36-year-old Steven Summers II last Monday afternoon after police dispatch received multiple calls about a possible impaired driver. Officers spotted Summers on Lebanon Road near Nonaville Road, and it was obvious that he was impaired. Summers failed to stop and led officers on a short pursuit.

While in pursuit, Summers would lose and regain consciousness multiple times while the vehicle continued motion. He was arrested on Williamsburg Road after he lost consciousness with the vehicle still in drive.

Due to Summers’ impaired state and self-inflicted injuries, he was taken to the Tennova Healthcare-Lebanon emergency room. While he under treatment and not fully conscious, a court order was provided to the hospital, which required it to immediately notify the department if Summers was to be released. While still receiving care, Summers removed the medical equipment attached to him and ran away from the hospital.

Summers is wanted for seventh offense driving under the influence, felony evading, reckless driving, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest, fifth offense driving on a revoked driver’s license, leaving the scene of a non-injury crash and driving while a habitual offender.

Officers’ attempts to find Summers were unsuccessful, and it is believed he was last known to be in the Smyrna area. Anyone with any information about Summers’ whereabouts are encouraged to call Mt. Juliet police at 615)-754-2550.

A $1,000 reward was offered for information that leads to Summers’ arrest. Information may also be given anonymously by calling 615-754-8477 or at

Staff Reports

Mt. Juliet police catch Wilson County’s most wanted

Robert Bush

Mt. Juliet police caught a suspect last Tuesday who was named Wilson County’s most wanted for several charges.

According to Mt. Juliet police Capt. Tyler Chandler, officers caught Robert Bush, 23, of Mt. Juliet at a home on Cairns Drive Tuesday night around 7 p.m. He was wanted on multiple warrants related to domestic assault, evading arrest, reckless driving and driving on a revoked driver’s license.

The officers caught Bush when he tried to drive away on a motorcycle. He had marijuana and a gun on him. In addition, Bush had fled officers twice prior, once on a motorcycle on Devonshire Drive, and another time in a car on Nonaville Road.

Bush was charged with possession and manufacture of drugs with intent for resale, possession of a firearm during commission of a felony, reckless endangerment, three counts of evading arrest, reckless driving, two counts of driving on a revoked, suspended or cancelled driver’s license, failure to appear, possession of drug paraphernalia and violating conditional released. He was booked in at the Wilson County Jail on $36,500 bond.

He is also wanted by various other counties for charges related to failure to be booked and a probation violation.

By Jacob Smith

Suspect caught after crashing stolen police cruiser

Mark Bellew • All Hands Fire Photos
Deputies lead a suspect who was captured after he stole a police cruiser last Wednesday at Wilson Central High School and crashed it.

Wilson County sheriff’s deputies arrested a suspect after he stole a police cruiser last Wednesday morning at Wilson Central High School and crashed it.

According to Wilson County Schools spokesperson Jennifer Johnson, a baseball coach at Wilson Central saw what he believed to be a man with a gun who came out of the woods near the baseball field.

Two of the school’s school resource officer responded and briefly detained the suspect before he escaped and managed to steal one of their police cruisers. Wilson County sheriff’s Lt. Scott Moore said he did all of this while handcuffed. He told the officers he had hidden a gun and drugs nearby, and while they searched, he squeezed himself into the front seat and stole the car.
The suspect left the school, crashed the vehicle at the end of Kimberly Drive off Stewart’s Ferry Pike in Gladeville, and was caught for the second time.

Johnson said because it’s exam week, there were only about 200 students at the school at the time of the incident, and none of them were in danger. However, both Wilson Central and Gladeville Elementary School were placed on soft lockdown.

According to Moore, the suspect was identified as Paul Edward Eden, 40.

“It’s a suspect we’ve been looking for several days here in Wilson County,” said Moore. “He is wanted on charges out of Trousdale County, and Trousdale County sent a [be-on-the-lookout notification] to us for this subject, who is known to frequent Wilson County.”

Moore said Eden is a convicted felon with extensive drug history who made threats in the past that he would not go back to jail, and police would have to kill him.

By Jacob Smith

Wilson County law enforcement holds annual memorial service

Mt. Juliet and Lebanon police officers and Wilson County sheriff’s deputies came together Thursday to honor fallen law enforcement officers throughout Wilson County’s history.

The ceremony kicked off National Police Week, which will culminate Tuesday with the National Police Week Memorial Service in Washington, D.C.

The ceremony, held in Judge Barry Tatum’s courtroom, also included a presentation to the family of fallen Lebanon police Officer Joe Bowen, who died in March when he drove into a creek on the way home from work.

State Sen. Mark Pody, State Rep. Clark Boyd and State Sen. Susan Lynn presented Bowen’s family with a proclamation that honored their fallen family member.

“We just wanted to let you know how sorry you are,” said Lynn. “In the General Assembly, we always pause and we pray for our first responders. I’m left speechless, because I come from a family that suffered the loss of a police officer, and I know the pain you’re going through. It doesn’t make sense, but God has a plan, and it doesn’t feel like that at all, but God does have a plan.”

Mt. Juliet police Chief James Hambrick, Lebanon police Chief Mike Justice and Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan read the names of officers who died in the line of duty in Wilson County.

• Mt. Juliet police Sgt. Jerry Mundy died July 9, 2003.

• Wilson County sheriff’s Deputy John Musice died July 9, 2003.

• Wilson County sheriff’s Sgt. Wiley Williams died Jan. 25, 1974.

• Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Oscar Morris died May 9, 1956.

• Wilson County Constable Ben Northern died Sept. 4, 1932.

• Wilson County Sheriff Harold Griffin died April 6, 1954.

• Wilson County sheriff’s Deputy John Oakley died Jan. 3, 1923.

• Wilson County constable’s deputy Millard Brown died Sept. 4, 1932.

• Lebanon police Chief Robert Nolen died March 16, 2016.

By Jacob Smith

Community rallies for deputy with cancer

Law enforcement members converge for Team Cagle event

Mark Bellew • All Hands Fire Photos
Law enforcement officers and other community members came together to support former Mt. Juliet police officer and Wilson County sheriff’s Deputy Justin Cagle, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer about three or four years ago.

Police officers and community members from across Middle Tennessee came together Saturday to support Wilson County sheriff’s deputy and former Mt. Juliet police officer Justin Cagle.

Cagle was diagnosed with testicular cancer about three or four years ago. He had surgery to have it removed. But about six months ago, he found out the cancer had come back in a different area.

According to Cagle’s friend and former coworker Bill Toy, who now owns OTG Tactical, a law enforcement training company, the event was largely put together by Lynn Toy and Alyssa Dillard.

“When we became aware of the fact that Justin’s cancer had resurfaced, there was a push by MJPD and WCSO and his friends to all try and help,” said Toy. “James Cothron, Jeremy Reich and myself decided we could do much more good by working together to have one large event. Lynn stepped forward to organize and plan the event and Alyssa worked overtime to bring in 90 percent of all of our auction items. It really grew beyond anything we could have hoped for. [Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto] was kind enough to open our event and has been a steadfast supporter.”

The event Saturday featured live music, face painting, concessions for sale, a silent auction and a shooting competition.

Cagle said people had approached him several times about putting an event together, and he had turned them down, but he agreed to this event as long as it also raised money for the family of Lebanon police officer Joe Bowen, who died in March when he drove into a creek on his way home from work.

“I didn’t want any kind of attention or anything for this,” said Cagle. “Law enforcement is a tight brotherhood, and they put this fundraiser together. I felt so blessed, I wanted to put something toward other people.”

The proceeds from the sale of all the food at the benefit went to benefit Bowen’s family.

According to Toy, more than 200 people came out to the event, and many more gave donations even though they couldn’t attend.

“It was extremely heartwarming to see the response of our community. The way citizens and businesses came together to help and show support for these officers was just absolutely amazing,” said Toy. “We had one gentleman who walked up as we were setting up and asked if this was the benefit for the officers. When we answered yes, he pulled out a $100 bill, handed it to us and then walked away.”

Both Cagle and Toy talked about the brotherhood and camaraderie between law enforcement, event officers in another county.

“Cops predominantly work alone until something bad threatens us,” said Toy. “I have been on calls where we needed help and within minutes, five different agencies had responded and jumped in to give aid so I wasn’t surprised by the overwhelming response by middle Tennessee officers wanting to do anything they could to help Justin. We had donations from Brentwood PD, Murfreesboro PD, Rutherford County SWAT and many others outside of Wilson County. Justin has a well-earned reputation as a cop’s cop. He is always first through the door and eats, drinks and sleeps being a cop. After we lost [Bowen], Justin wanted to know how we could use this benefit to help his family, so we expanded it to include supporting officer Bowen’s family. It is very much a family.”

Sponsors for the event included Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, Mt. Juliet Police Department, OTG – Tactical, D&D Events, Fugitive Extradition, Lannom & Williams, Wes Dugan, Brody and Angel Kane, ASSES Security Services, Agent Automotive, Barrett Firearms and Outpost Armory.

Signs Now Lebanon did the banner for the event for free, Ralph Hix headed up the donation of all the food, Edgefield Meat donated all the hamburgers, Lynn Powell donated all the chips, Leon Basford cooked all the food, and the entertainment was donated by Jackie Deville, Maddie Walker and Sonic Voodoo.

By Jacob Smith

Hollywood Memorial Riders roll through Wilson County headed to DC

Group makes stops at two Mt. Juliet schools

Mark Bellew • All Hands Fire Photos
The Hollywood Memorial Ride came through Wilson County on Tuesday and stopped at several local schools.

The Hollywood Memorial Ride came through Wilson County on Tuesday, and students at Springdale Elementary School, West Elementary School, Coles Ferry Elementary School and Walter J. Baird Middle School greeted the riders and cheered them on their way.

The Hollywood Memorial Ride is a group of four Los Angeles police officers who bicycle more than 2,980 miles from Hollywood, California to the National Police Week Memorial Services in Washington, D.C.

The goal of the trek is not only to pay tribute to the 146 law enforcement officers who are killed in the line of duty each year on average, but also raise awareness of their sacrifice and raise funds for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

The officers stopped first at Springdale, then West elementary schools. They also rode through an area near Walter J. Baird Middle School and Coles Ferry Elementary School, where students lined the street to cheer for them.

Members of the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, Lebanon Police Department, Mt. Juliet Police Department and Wilson County Emergency Management Agency helped escort the officers through the county.

“All schools provided them with words of encouragement and refreshments,” said Wilson County sheriff’s Lt. Scott Moore. “It’s great to see a community come together, such as this, to give honor and respect to the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice by serving and protecting their communities.”

The four officers concluded their trip through Wilson County with lunch at the Lebanon Police Department Emergency Services Unit headquarters, then the four officers continued their journey to Washington, D.C.

“This was the second year we were able to help escort the group through the city, and we certainly enjoy being able to contribute to their cause as they ride in honor of fallen law enforcement officers,” said Mt. Juliet police Capt. Tyler Chandler.

“We are honored to witness and be a part of this incredible journey and wish the riders well as they continue on to Washington for next week’s ceremonies,” said Lebanon police Sgt. P.J. Hardy.

To follow along with the four officers’ journey, visit the Hollywood Memorial Ride Facebook page.

By Jacob Smith

Disturbing Facebook Live video leads to suspect charged

Lonie Baggatta

A suspect is in jail after Mt. Juliet police were made aware of a disturbing Facebook Live video early Saturday morning that broadcast a man who was threatened with a handgun in real time.

Officers launched an investigation at about 2 a.m. and searched for the victim threatened in the video. The investigation led to a home in the 1400 block of Brighton Circle, which was identified as the location of the live broadcast.

Unaware of the armed man’s intention, Mt. Juliet’s special response and crisis negotiation teams responded to the home to resolve the incident. Through their work, the suspect, victim and a woman willingly exited the home.

The suspect, a convicted felon, was identified as Lonnie Baggatta, 34, of Old Hickory. Further investigation also led to the discovery of marijuana and handgun used in the video.

During the incident, four homes were evacuated as a precaution while the special response team operated in the area. The neighbors were housed briefly in the neighborhood clubhouse. Mt. Juliet firefighters and Wilson County Emergency Management Agency first responders provided stand-by assistance.

Baggatta was charged with aggravated assault, convicted felon in possession of a handgun and simple possession of marijuana. He was booked in at the Wilson County Jail on $10,500 bond and remained Saturday evening.

Staff Reports

City officials call Ride Mt. Juliet a success

Families take part in bicycle ride led by fire truck and more

George Page • Mt. Juliet News
Families from across Wilson County came out Sunday to participate in Ride Mt. Juliet, presented by the Mt. Juliet Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee.

Families from across Wilson County came out to the fourth-annual Ride Mt. Juliet event, and followed Mt. Juliet fire Chief Jamie Luffman who drive a ladder truck on a 5.8-mile bike ride.

The event, presented by the Mt. Juliet Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee, lasted from 2-4 p.m. at the Music City Star terminal parking lot at the intersection of Mt. Juliet Road and Division Street.

“It was perfect weather for this fun, community event that promotes the mission of Mt. Juliet’s Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee, which is creating better, safer options for bicyclists and pedestrians,” said Mt. Juliet police Capt. Tyler Chandler.

Mt. Juliet police officers on bikes participated in the ride, and other officers helped with traffic control.

“I enjoyed helping with the event, and it was nice to see a good crowd come out to enjoy the weather with their friends and family on two wheels,” said Chandler.

Mt. Juliet Commissioner Art Giles, who is also a member of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, called it a successful, family friendly event.

“The event was again successful this year with all ages enjoying it,” said Giles.

By Jacob Smith

Mt. Juliet officer saves child

Officer breaks window of hot car to get 2 year old out

Mariam Banoub

A Mt. Juliet police officer broke open a car window to save a 2-year-old child who was reportedly locked in a sport utility vehicle Monday at about 2:42 p.m. at Walgreen’s on Crossings Lane.

According to Mt. Juliet police Capt. Tyler Chandler, the officer arrived after he received a call to find the 2-year-old child screaming crying and sweating to the point his hair was soaked. The vehicle was not running. The officer broke one of the car’s windows to get the child out.

Medics said the child was OK, and the mother, Mariam Banoub, 30, of Mt. Juliet, was found inside the store with a 4-year-old child. Information from the scene led officers to believe the younger child was intentionally left unattended for about 25 minutes.

After resisting officers, Banoub was arrested and charged with leaving a child unattended in a motor vehicle, child neglect and resisting arrest and booked at Wilson County Jail.

“We are so thankful a watchful citizen saw the child and knew to immediately report it,” said Chandler. “Whether the car is running or not, it’s a dangerous situation for any young child, especially on a hot day. It is also against the law.”

The children were released to their father.

Staff Reports

Kenny Martin: Walkers, joggers, bicyclists should be visible

Kenny Martin
City Manager
Mt. Juliet

With Mt. Juliet’s rapid growth and warmer weather comes an even greater need for all citizens to use various safety measures while traveling and using our roadways. For example, with the increasing Mt. Juliet population, there will definitely be an increase in vehicular, pedestrian and bicycle traffic and an even greater need to share the roadways safely.

Daily concern calls are received about both vehicular and pedestrian safety and the need for more citizen awareness. Citizens regularly report concerns about pedestrians walking, jogging or riding bikes, along the roadways and streets. Concerned citizens often report near misses with citizen’s walking at night along the roadway in dark and less-than-reflective clothing.

Many concerned citizen’s ask if a law could possibly be passed that would require walkers, runners, joggers and/or bike riders to wear reflective clothing at night and highly visible clothing during the day light hours. Citizens regularly suggest that biking, walking, jogging, running, skating and blading individuals be required to use lights and flashlights at night for proper illumination and visibility.

We always explain it is unlikely that a law would be passed but that we are always willing to pass along important safety information to help not only our motoring public but our walking, jogging, running, blading, skating and active community, as well.

Therefore, I would like to urge any citizen using the roadways for walking, jogging, running, skating, blading or riding bikes to please wear proper safety equipment when in or near the roadways.

Below are just a few tips to keep you and your family safe and visible when walking, jogging, running, or bicycling. I would also encourage our motoring public to use caution, as well, when traveling the roadways with our active citizens. We must share the roads at all times safely.

• Walkers, joggers and runners are encouraged to use flashlights and wear highly reflective and visible clothing at all times.

• Bicyclists are encouraged to wear proper safety equipment, as well, including helmet, gloves, eye protection and highly reflective and visible materials on both the clothing and bicycle.

• If walking, jogging or running with your pets, don’t forget to include them in your safety plan, as well. They won’t need a helmet, but they will need to have highly visible and reflective markings. Most pet stores carry reflective collars and vests for pets.

• If you have a cellphone, carry it in case of an emergency.

• Other safety materials include reflective armbands, vests and ankle straps just to name a few.

As you can imagine, these are only a few safety measures that you can use to make yourself safe while walking, jogging or riding a bike in or near the roadway. Our roadways are becoming busier everyday and we must do all that we can to make sure that we are safe and visible at all times.

The sooner a motorist spots you while driving down the roadway the sooner the motorist can process the needed information in order to make a safe maneuver around you.

Far too many pedestrians are struck and either seriously injured or killed because a motorist didn’t see them until it was too late. We must do all that we can to prepare and protect ourselves. So please be safe and visible out there. 

Kenny Martin is city manager in Mt. Juliet.