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Mistaken identity leads to arrest on outstanding warrants

March 22, 2019 – Police received a trespassing call Thursday night, and although the person who was seen on the property turned out to be different from the person banned from the site, officers identified him as someone with outstanding warrants and made an arrest, anyway.

According to Dunlap Police Chief Clint Huth, dispatch received a trespassing call at about 8:15 p.m. March 21, for a location on Buddy Skyles Road.

The caller misidentified the guy as someone who was banned from coming on the property,” Chief Huth said today. “Before officers arrived on the scene, they got an update from the dispatcher that the suspect got into a white Chevy Blazer and left.”

When officers located the Blazer, they made a traffic stop, and the passenger jumped out of the vehicle and fled on foot. That is when the officers recognized the man as Larry Heath Skyles, 34, of Dunlap – not the person they thought it was.

The woman driving the vehicle cooperated with officers and was free to leave, but sheriff's deputies joined city police in searching for Skyles, who had several outstanding warrants.

When they found Skyles, they found themselves negotiating a potential suicide.

He was located in a tunnel under Elm Street – a big culvert,” Detective Jason Harvey said. “He had a large knife to his throat and a second knife to his chest. He refused officers' demands and said he wanted to kill himself.”

The longer officers talked to Skyles, the more agitated he became, Chief Huth said.

Finally, officers resorted to “less-lethal” methods of resolving the situation, using a shotgun and a 40mm launcher to fire beanbags and sponge rounds at Skyles. When Skyles moved toward officers, they tazed him until he dropped the two knives.

After a struggle with officers, Skyles was arrested at about 9 p.m., and a third knife was found on him, Det. Harvey said.

Skyles was taken to Sequatchie-Erlanger Emergency Room to be checked out before being booked into the Sequatchie County Jail on a city charge of failure to appear and on county charges of resisting arrest, evading arrest, and violation of probation for manufacturing Schedule II methamphetamine.