Franklin police say they are often outmanned

Published 9:12 am Wednesday, February 23, 2011

FRANKLIN—Franklin Police Lt. Tim Whitt says it’s not unusual for police to be outnumbered by bystanders when responding to a crime, just like they were on Jan. 10.

That night it was three cops versus at least seven suspects. The end result was an injured officer and the arrest of Tanji Jacoby Wiggins, 31, of 425 Hall St., Franklin, for allegedly having 18 tablets of the hallucinogenic drug ecstasy and a loaded 9mm pistol.

“This wasn’t the first time,” Whitt said. “We can be surrounded by 100 people or more and we have only four (officers). That’s not good odds in our book.”

Police were called shortly after 2 a.m. to the 400 block of Hall Street for gunshots fired, Whitt said.

“What they found was a person (Wiggins) standing in the middle of the street,” Whitt said. “They approached him and got consent to search him. As soon as they started to do that, he broke away and ran from them on a short foot pursuit.”

Police caught Wiggins. In the meantime five or six unknown individuals came out and tried to get Wiggins away from police, Whitt said.

“They tried to get into his pants pockets,” he said. “They were looking for the ecstasy. We were short, as usual that night, on manpower and called for assistance. Once the officer got there, we were able to get the individual (Wiggins) in the car.”

The suspect then allegedly broke out the rear window on the cruiser by banging his head against it, Whitt said.

While this was going on, the five or six individuals on the street were blocking police from leaving Hall Street, he said.

“It was just a typical night,” Whitt said. “It’s not unusual for our officers to be outnumbered on calls. The main thing to do is take care of business at hand.”

The unidentified injured officer did not require hospitalization, but did not work for a few weeks due to the shoulder injury, he said.

Wiggins was the only person arrested. He was charged with public drunkenness, resisting arrest, obstruction of justice and possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Wiggins has a preliminary hearing at 10 a.m. Monday, March 28, in Franklin General District Court.