Athens officer attacked by suspect

ATHENS, Tennessee (WDEF) – Athens police are explaining what happened during an arrest last week where one of their officers was assaulted.

Chief Clifton Couch says, “She’s doing great… she’s tougher than the rest of us.”

Chief Couch is talking about Officer Jackie Holmes who’s worked for the Athens Police Department many years.

The chief says nothing could prepare her for what happened on May 15th in the area of Palos Street.

On Tuesday afternoon, police got a call about a man chasing his parents up the street in a vehicle.

Jesse Moses had an order of protection against him from being around his parents.

Two officers arrived on the scene, and Moses fled by driving the wrong way down a one-way street.

Then he abandoned the car and hid in some bushes.

Officer Jackie Holmes spotted him and tried to arrest him.

Witnesses told police he attacked her and smashed her head into the ground.

Chief says, “Unfortunately it’s not surprising it’s a part of the job nowadays at times but it’s obviously something you never get used to and you want to make sure that that person is held accountable.”

When her partner arrived, Moses fled again.

Chief Couch says the assault didn’t let that stop her partner from making the arrest.

“She told him to go ahead and catch the bag guy and that’s what he did,” says Chief Couch.

Officer Justin Weir ran him down.

Now, Moses faces a host of charges and hopes this incident reminds the public to give officers the benefit of the doubt in every interaction.

“You never know…we deal with so many people I mean thousands and thousands of people and out of thousands maybe one does something like this. The problem is you never know who that one is going to be. If an officer is dealing with you on a traffic stop or any other type of call or you feel like why is he being kind of [mean] with me or why does he care where my hands are that’s why. It’s not because we are trying to be mean, we don’t know you and we never know who that one is going to be.”




Officer Holmes was treated at the hospital for injuries to her face, but later released.

Police discovered that a 15 year old female runaway from another county was with Moses.

Moses has been charged with 8 counts, ranging from aggravated assault to contributing to the dependency of a minor.

Chief Couch, of the Athens Police Department, said “Unfortunately it is not unusual for suspects to resist when officers take them into custody. This is a reality that officers live with. I commend these officers for the courage and restraint that they showed in this situation. We are all obviously glad that this man was taken into custody and we pray for Officer Holmes’ speedy recovery.”

Categories: Featured, Local News, McMinn County

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