Catoosa County Deputy Nathan Miller escaped injury after encountering a convicted California felon who pulled a firearm during a traffic stop and led officers on a brief chase that ended with a serious car crash.
Catoosa County Sheriff Gary Sisk said Deputy Miller noticed 42-year-old Andrew Daniel Medley of Los Angeles was not wearing his seatbelt while driving a red Ford sedan on Lafayette Road at about 3:37 p.m. on Monday, May 3.
After initiating a traffic stop near the Super 8 motel on Lafayette Road, Miller saw Medley moving around inside the car as if he were trying to hide or grab something. As Miller approached the driver's side of the car, he observed Medley appearing nervous, sweating profusely and with trembling hands. Miller explained to Medley why he was stopped and asked for his driver’s license, but Medley said he lost his wallet. Miller asked Medley for his information and if there were any illegal drugs or weapons inside the car and Medley replied “no.”
Deputy Miller went back to his patrol car to check computer records for Medley and the Ford sedan and saw Medley again moving around inside his car and looking back at him. When Miller approached Medley from a safe angle to get more information, he saw Medley had a black pistol in his right hand that was pointing toward the driver's side window. Miller ordered Medley to “put the gun down” and then reached inside the car and grabbed the gun out of Medley's hand without a struggle. The weapon was placed on top of the Ford sedan.
As Miller tried to remove Medley from the car Medley yelled expletives at the officer and started gunning the engine. Miller drew his service-issued firearm; however, no shots were fired as Medley drove away traveling north on Lafayette Road.
After a short chase Medley crashed his car into a large brick sign, causing the vehicle to flip onto the driver's side. Miller held Medley at gunpoint as other officers arrived and broke the rear window glass of the car so that Medley could be removed and placed in handcuffs.
After Medley was treated on the scene by first responders and transported to a hospital with several injuries he sustained from the crash, Miller and other officers searched the vehicle for contraband. Officers confirmed that the firearm Medley produced was reported stolen from Chickamauga. They also found a substance suspected to be methamphetamine, a 9-millimeter magazine, and several hundred dollars in cash separated into stacks.
Medley remains hospitalized after three surgeries and faces charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, possession of a firearm during a crime, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of methamphetamine, reckless driving, theft by receiving stolen property and safety belt violation.
“I commend Deputy Miller for putting his professionalism, training and skills to use by maintaining control of a highly volatile situation,” Sheriff Sisk said. “We don't know what Medley's intentions were when he pulled the weapon during the traffic stop, but Deputy Miller was able to prevent what could have been a very tragic outcome.”