Derek Saddler

Authorities captured 35-year-old Derek Saddler last Friday, July 8, after a portion of Macon County residents were warned that an armed suspect was on the run in their area. 

According to Macon County Sheriffs Department Chief Deputy Bryon Satterfield, Trooper Danny Fisher of the Tennessee Highway Patrol made a traffic stop on Maple Grove Road earlier that day, and the driver of the vehicle was identified as Saddler. 

Trooper Fisher discovered that Saddler had warrants out for his arrest and attempted to place him under arrest. However, the suspect was able to free himself and flee into a wooded area.

A female passenger, identified as 25-year-old Jamie Chitwood, remained inside the vehicle, and it was learned that Saddler was possibly armed with a handgun. 

Officers from the Macon County Sheriffs Department and the Lafayette Police Department arrived to assist in the search for the suspect.

“Sheriff Gammons also issued an automated reverse 911 call to alert nearby citizens that an armed suspect was in the general area,” said Satterfield. “The call also provided a description of the suspect and details regarding what steps to take if someone recognized him.”

As authorities conducted an extensive search for the suspect, Saddler was spotted by a Maple Grove Road resident.

“The Macon County Sheriffs Department and the Lafayette Police Department responded to the area, and the suspect was seen running into the woods,” Satterfield stated. “At that time, K-9 Gordy was deployed and Saddler was apprehended in the woods off of Maple Grove Road.”

A search of the vehicle Saddler was driving revealed drugs, ammunition and drug paraphernalia.

Saddler was charged with violation of probation, possession of a schedule III drug, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving on a suspended license, aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a weapon, resisting arrest and possession of schedule II drug.

His companion Chitwood was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a schedule II drug and possession of a schedule III drug. 

Chief Deputy Satterfield noted that the purpose of reverse 911 calls, like the one used in this case, is to inform citizens. 

“These calls are not meant to scare residents,” he remarked. “They are tools that allow us to keep everyone informed and aware of their surroundings.”