published Friday, October 7th, 2011

Bradley County deputy fired for inappropriate behavior

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    Investigators search for clues in the median of I-75 Saturday where a Bradley County deputy sheriff stopped to check on a woman and two small children walking. The woman allegedly slashed the deputy with a knife, and he fired at her as she stole the patrol car. The woman drove a short distrance before plowing through a fence and coming to rest on a Cleveland street. Staff photo by Randall Higgins
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A Bradley County Sheriff’s deputy who fatally shot a woman on Interstate 75 in May was fired Monday for inappropriate behavior in an unrelated case.

Deputy Dustin Patrick was fired for conduct unbecoming a member of the sheriff’s office and for improper use of department equipment, said sheriff’s spokesman Bob Gault in a news release. The firing did not have to do with the shooting, Gault said.

Gault refused to provide details, saying the internal investigation was still open. He said he didn’t know when it would be completed.

On May 21, Patrick shot 30-year-old Armetta Foster. She had been walking north on Interstate 75 with her two children when Patrick stopped his patrol car and began to question her. As he was talking, Foster began slashing at him with a knife and cut him on the hand, according to reports.

Then Foster ran to Patrick’s idling cruiser and sped away, leaving her children behind. The deputy fired his weapon, hitting her seven or eight times, records show.

Foster drove the patrol car about 21⁄2 miles before crashing through a fence. She died at Erlanger hospital in Chattanooga.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation looked into the shooting and found Patrick had followed policy. Investigators discussed the information with the 10th Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s office, which decided not to press charges, TBI spokeswoman Kristin Helm said in an email.

about Joy Lukachick Smith...

Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...

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biofish said...

Your headline is misleading. While i understand that making the correlation between both stories involving the officer is appropriate, it is not responsible to "summarize" the story with that headline. This is something your former editor did to sell papers and I assume you are doing the same. In this effort to basically make money, you breed hate for someone who did absolutely nothing wrong. This hate expands to his chosen line of work, which is FILLED with those who have sacrificed more than you ever will. I am disappointed in your ethics as a journalist.

October 7, 2011 at 11:32 a.m.
bryseana said...

The headline is misleading. It makes it seem as if he were fired for the shooting. I guess it's to get people's attention so they'll read the article.

October 7, 2011 at 11:39 a.m.
brownsrplm said...

I am in total agreement that this is a noteworthy article, however like the previous comments deputy Patrick's previous incident should only have at most, had a notation at the end of the article. It might have been a wiser decision to have waited to find out more info on why he was let go, than to bring this issue out now.

October 7, 2011 at 12:20 p.m.
biofish said...

Thank you for changing the headline.

October 7, 2011 at 1:35 p.m.
3conservative said...

Why was the officer fired if the internal investigation is still ongoing? There seems to be alot of problems at the sheriff's office these days. Where is Sheriff Ruth to talk about this? I am not at all impressed with the way he is handling the affairs at that office.

October 7, 2011 at 1:46 p.m.
patriot1 said...

If things keeping going the way they are at the BCSO he is going to be a one termer and rightfully so.

October 7, 2011 at 3:43 p.m.
chioK_V said...

They should have fired his sorry @ss when he murdered that poor woman in front of his children. Instead they cleared him so he could continue on with his craft. So what? He's fired. Some county jail or public housing authority will take him in and make him a jailer or PH cop. They'll likely advise him to keep a low profile and to choose his victims(the poor) wisely.

TFP, why did you cave and change the title of the story? You're becoming a puss, fear of the reporting the news factually, just like the ones before you. Picture of dude looks like he unstable anyway. Probably should have never been allowed on the force to the beginning. It would be interesting to know what his psych. test showed.

October 7, 2011 at 8:32 p.m.
biofish said...

So, chioK_V. If someone came at you with a knife, you would, .. what?.. give them a hug? Please, you have never been in any situation like that and have no knowledgeable input. Leave the serious discussions to the grown-ups.

October 8, 2011 at midnight
citizen1998 said... for the fatal shooting case, yes it is tragic that a mother was killed in front of her children, however what is more tragic is that a mother attacked an officer, abandoned her children on the interstate, and wrecklessly endangered the lives of others on the interstate leading to her death to protect others!

March 14, 2012 at 3:43 p.m.
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