River no path to freedom in man’s escape bid

1:22 pm | April 11, 2013

A county man’s attempts to flee arrest Wednesday afternoon turned out to be all wet, police say, and now he’s been sent up the river.

Photo by Brandon HicksScotty Calloway is arrested by arrested by Carter County Sheriff's Department officers on the north bank of the Watauga River after he surrendered to them. Deputies said Calloway ran from them when they attempted to arrest him on an outstanding warrant and waded into the river to avoid capture.

Photo by Brandon Hicks
Scotty Calloway is arrested by arrested by Carter County Sheriff’s Department officers on the north bank of the Watauga River after he surrendered to them. Deputies said Calloway ran from them when they attempted to arrest him on an outstanding warrant and waded into the river to avoid capture.

About a dozen officers from the Elizabethton Police and Carter County Sheriff’s departments converged around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday on opposite banks of the Watauga River, where a shirtless man was making an ill-fated swim for freedom.

CCSD Lt. L.C. Tester, one of the officers who fished the man out of the river once he’d surrendered, said Scotty Calloway knew he had an outstanding warrant charging him with violation of probation and fled from Deputy Billy Harrell to avoid his arrest.

Tester said Calloway, originally sighted on Lovers Lane on the north side of the river, swam across the river away from Harrell, but by then city officers had begun to arrive on the south bank.

Calloway turned back and then stopped mid-river, fighting the current and shouting, “I didn’t do anything.” Officers on both sides of the river urged the fleeing man to give himself up.

After a 10-minute standoff, Calloway signaled he had enough of the chilly spring water by waving his shirt above his head like a flag of truce and making his way to the awaiting county deputies.

CCSD Patrol Commander Lt. Patrick S. Johnson said on top of the arrest for the outstanding

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warrant, Calloway will also be charged with evading arrest.

He was booked into the Carter County Jail and scheduled to appear in General Sessions Court on the next available date.

Tester said the cooperation between city and county officers helped to ensure that the fleeing suspect was safely arrested.

“It’s good to see the city and county working together like this to get the job done,” he said. “I think everybody out there did a good job communicating to get this guy.”

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