published Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Homeowners hide from melee on front lawn

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Terry Smith was afraid to open his front door.

Outside, at 2 a.m. Saturday, a rowdy college party next door had overflowed onto his front lawn, fighting had broken out and his car was damaged beyond belief.

“We pretty much were in fear of our lives,” he said. “There were blood-curdling screams; you thought people were dying.”

More than 100 people attended the party, Smith said. The party began at the residence of Lee University student Phillip Bonaparte, police said.

Three hundred yards away, Georgetown Road resident Destiny Wheeler was awakened by the racket.

“It was pretty intense,” she said. “There was a lot of yelling and profanity. It literally sounded like it was right in front of my driveway.”


* 10 p.m. Friday: Party begins at a Lennox Circuit home.

* 1 a.m. Saturday: Neighbors begin calling the police.

* About 1:30 a.m.: Fighting begins in the cul-de-sac.

* 1:50 a.m.: Police arrive and recommend that the party be shut down.

* 2:57 a.m.: Police respond to fight at IHOP with the same individuals.

* 3:15 a.m.: Police issue citations to the same individuals at Tinsley Park.

Source: Neighbors, Cleveland Police Department

Smith said he called 911 three times before police arrived to break up the fight.

Fighting on top of Smith’s Volvo caused $3,500 in damage, Cleveland police spokeswoman Evie West said.

One partygoer was thrown against the vehicle, denting the entire back door, Smith’s son, Chaz, said.

Bonaparte said he would take care of the cost of damage to all his neighbors’ property, according to the police department.

Last fall police had to remove about 70 partygoers from the same house, Terry Smith said.

“This is a really calm family neighborhood,” he said. “But we’ve been interrupted and raped of our privacy and our security.”

After Saturday’s party, stray clothes, jewelry and empty alcohol bottles littered the yard, Terry Smith’s wife, Ginger, said. In addition, two mailboxes were damaged, she said.

“It was a freaking gang war, like something you’d see on ‘Cops’ on TV,” Ginger Smith said. “It literally was like a riot.”

After breaking up the fight, officers responded to another fight at an IHOP restaurant on Paul Huff Parkway that was confirmed to have been started by the same crowd, the police department said.

About 35 people from the previous incidents at IHOP and Lenox Circuit were found at Tinsley Park by officers shortly after 3 a.m., police said. All individuals present received a citation for being in the park after dark, according to police records.

Contact Harrison Keely at or 423-757-6651.

about Harrison Keely...

Harrison Keely is an online breaking news producer for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He also anchors the daily newscast. He joined the Times Free Press as a reporter in 2010. He previously served as managing editor of the Smoky Mountain Sentinel in western North Carolina and as a business reporter for the Washington Times in Washington, D.C. He graduated from Lee University in 2009 where he served as managing editor of the student news ...

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
dao1980 said...

“But we’ve been interrupted and raped of our privacy and our security.”

I didn't know that a person could be "raped" of their privacy. It seems to me that a valid point can be greatly devalued by silly nomenclature, or misuse of inciting language.

September 28, 2010 at 8:32 a.m.
ceeweed said...

It is only a matter of time until Lee University claims its place on the as one of the top ten party schools. Go Flames!

September 28, 2010 at 9:43 a.m.
dave said...

Called the police three times before a response??? This illustrates the saying " when seconds count your local police are minutes away". Get a gun, learn to use it. Defend yourself, your family and your property.

September 28, 2010 at 11:13 a.m.
captainrt said...

The Lee web page says: " Americas most energizing CHRISTIAN university." LOL

Do it in the name of heaven, you'll be justified in the end.

September 28, 2010 at 11:35 a.m.

What do you expect from the House of Bonaparte?

September 28, 2010 at 1:45 p.m.
kayro19 said...

Christian schools can be just as wild as any other. Sewanee University is noted for its wild parties too, they are in the middle no where between Chattanooga and Nashville

September 28, 2010 at 3:50 p.m.
whatever said...

I think somebody needs to learn not to hold these kinds of parties if they can't manage them.

September 28, 2010 at 7:04 p.m.
please login to post a comment

Other National Articles

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.