Chattanooga, TN – A vehicle burglary suspect got Tased after he attempted to escape arrest by attacking a Chattanooga police officer with pepper spray on New Year’s Day.
The altercation occurred at approximately 12 a.m. on Tuesday, when the officer spotted 32-year-old Justin Conner breaking into a silver Jeep Wrangler at an apartment complex near the Chattanooga Police Department, the Times Free Press reported.
The officer confronted Conner as he tried to walk away from the vehicle.
Conner, who was lugging a jacket and a green backpack, ignored the officer and continued his attempt to leave the area.
The officer ordered him to drop the items and to put his hands on the hood of a nearby police cruiser.
Conner refused to comply, so the officer then shoved him towards the patrol car to take him into custody.
That’s when Conner pushed the officer away and reached over his shoulder to grab onto a canister of pepper spray.
The suspect sprayed the substance directly into the officer’s face, then broke away from him and continued to deploy even more spray.
The officer tried to grab onto his attacker, but was unsuccessful.
He ultimately resorted to deploying his Taser in order to bring the suspect under control.
Conner immediately fell forward onto the ground, striking his head. He was taken into custody and transported to the hospital to be evaluated for his head injury.
After he was cleared by medical personnel, Conner was booked into the Hamilton County Jail.
Investigators found the suspect in possession of an ignition switch, as well as a vaping pen filled with THC oil that belonged to the owner of the Jeep.
He also allegedly cut into the Jeep’s steering column, leaving wires cut and exposed.
Police determined that the backpack Conner was carrying had also been stolen from inside the Jeep, WRCB reported.
Conner was booked into jail for resisting arrest, possession of a controlled substance, vandalism, aggravated assault, burglary, and two counts of theft of property over $1,000.
His bond was set at $2,500, according to the Times Free Press.
Conner’s criminal history dates back to at least 2005. He has previously been arrested for a litany of offenses, including assault on a police officer, DUI, and evading arrest.