published Friday, April 27th, 2012

East Ridge police officer under scrutiny after wreck

An East Ridge police officer has been placed on leave after an Hamilton County investigators have listed him as a suspect in a hit-and-run early Friday morning.

Officer Sean Merriman was involved in a wreck in the 8100 block of Blue Spruce Drive in Middle Valley, sheriff’s spokeswoman Janice Atkinson said.

Deputies arrived on scene to find a parked Chevrolet S 10 Pickup truck had been struck, Atkinson said. The suspect vehicle left the scene, but officers were able to follow a fuel trail to a nearby address where they found Merriman’s 2004 Jeep Cherokee parked with heavy damage.

When asked earlier about the details about the internal affairs investigation, the East Ridge Police department refused to provide the details of the circumstances surrounding Merriman’s investigation.

East Ridge police spokesman Officer Erik Hopkins said Hamilton County officials are investigating the traffic incident, Hopkins said.

Merriman will remain on paid administrative leave until East Ridge’s criminal investigation unit completes the investigation, said Hopkins.

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