Fugitive apprehended in Gordon County on Tuesday at a local motel after standoff with GSP SWAT
Updated: May 27
A Tennessee fugitive was apprehended in Gordon County on Tuesday at a local motel after an hours-long standoff with law enforcement.
According to Gordon County Sheriff Mitch Ralston, just after 2 p.m. on Tuesday, May 26, deputy sheriffs were dispatched to the Express Inn on Hwy. 225 near I-75 after a receiving several complaints from an occupant of another room at the hotel concerning two suspects who were fugitives and were involved in illegal drugs, counterfeiting, firearms and fake identification documents. According to an update from Sheriff Ralston, two deputies were at the motel to investigate the complaints, and while talking to the offenders, determined that they were wanted by authorities in Tennessee. The deputies arrested a female suspect, Schalles Williams, age 55, of 211 Arrow Drive, Signal Mountain, Tenn., without resistance. A man, identified as Wesley Swartout, age 52, of 689 Highway 225, Calhoun, produced a handgun and pointed it at the deputies. One deputy fired at Swartout, who retreated back inside his motel room and barricaded himself inside. Swartout was not hit by the deputy’s shot. The Georgia State Patrol SWAT Team was then requested to the scene. The state troopers attempted to negotiate with the man without success. The troopers then deployed an armored, special purpose vehicle and broke down the motel room door and window. OC gas (also known as pepper spray) was deployed before the troopers entered the room and took Swartout into custody. Sheriff’s detectives secured a search warrant for the crime scene and conducted a thorough search of Swartout and Williams’ motel room and the surrounding area. They took a number of items into custody as evidence, including a partially loaded handgun, ammunition, drug-related paraphernalia, fake identification documents, fake license plates, counterfeit money, an electronic credit card reader, computers and printers, and cash. The detectives also impounded a recreational vehicle (camper), two motorcycles, and a car. Williams is reported to be wanted by authorities in Bradley County (Cleveland), Tennessee for Forgery. Swartout is reported to be wanted by authorities in Hamilton County (Chattanooga), Tennessee for Forgery. At the time of his arrest, Swartout was reported to have been free on bond after having been arrested in Chattooga County, Ga. in January 2020 for fraud, firearms related offenses, and obstructing law officers. Here in Gordon County, Swartout is being charged with Aggravated Assault Against Peace Officers, firearms-related offenses, and fraud-related offenses, as well as being held for other jurisdictions. Williams is still being held for other jurisdictions as well. More charges against the pair are expected. Sheriff Ralston said, “I commend all of the officers, state and local, who successfully resolved this issue and effectively apprehended a dangerous offender and his co-conspirator. The State Patrol are great partners to have in our mission of keeping Gordon County safe, and we know that we can always call on them. My deputies also did a good job in identifying these violators and collecting the evidence necessary for prosecution. We are thankful that no innocent people were hurt, and this incident serves as a reminder of how dangerous law enforcement can be, and how fortunate our community is to be served by the individuals on my staff as well as the State law enforcement agencies.”