Saturday, August 18, 2007

"Prankster" throws water balloon at Anti-Tax Rally

and hits talk radio crew in Chattanooga. The suspect said he was the stepson of one the county commissioners being criticized for his vote for higher property taxes.


A prankster with a water balloon interrupted an anti-tax "tea party" at East Lake Park on Saturday afternoon.

The man doused a WGOW Talk Radio crew with one of the balloons, then was chased down and corralled at a nearby church.

Bobby Petty, president of the Greater East Lake Community Council that sponsored the event, said he saw the man wearing a bandana at the back of the crowd for about an hour before the sudden attack.

He said when emcee John Wolfe told the crowd that County Commissioner John Brooks should be coming out to East Lake helping residents pay the higher tax that he helped pass, the man lowered the bandana over his face. He then started running toward the Talk Radio crew.

He dropped one water balloon next to Greater East Lake Community Council Vice President Rachel Holloway, as he shouted, "Those loud mouth SOBs," Mr. Petty said.

He said the man later told those in the group that he is the stepson of Commissioner Brooks. He gave his name as John Chenkus.

Mr. Petty said the water balloon zipped by the head of former County Commissioner Lou Miller and nailed Mr. Wolfe and fellow emcees Robert T. Nash, Tim Price and Carnell Storie. "They were pretty wet," Mr. Petty said.