Two convicted felons tried to escape police by running towards the massive Music City Center construction project, but they were thwarted by two police officers.
According to police, a Mt. Juliet man called 911 at 3:40 a.m. Saturday to report that he had been robbed at gunpoint by two men in the parking lot at 217 2nd Avenue South.
Central Precinct officers quickly responded to the immediate area and saw two men matching the description of the robbers at the construction site. Police identified the men as convicted felons Charles Cheatham, 26, of Delta Avenue, and Laquinte Beard, 31, of Ben Allen Road.
Police said Officer Patrick Oakley saw Cheatham running and, while closing the distance on foot, heard a gunshot.
According to investigators, Oakley yelled for him to stop and show his hands, and Cheatham complied. A .380 pistol was located in Cheatham's flight path, police said. The gun is believed to have discharged when it hit the ground.
According to police, Officer Travis Baxter, after a chase and brief struggle, took Beard into custody near 5th Avenue South and Peabody Street.
Police said Beard was carrying the victim's cell phone, while the victim's wallet was recovered near 4th Avenue South and Malloy Street.
According to officers, the victim subsequently identified Cheatham as the man who held the gun on him while Beard went through his pockets and took his belongings.
Cheatham was jailed in lieu of $150,000 bond on charges of aggravated robbery and unlawful gun possession by a convicted felon. Beard was jailed in lieu of $87,000 bond on charges of aggravated robbery, evading arrest and resisting police.
Cheatham was convicted of felony marijuana possession in November 2010 and received a four-year sentence. He received a five-year sentence in December 2006 for felony cocaine and unlawful gun possession convictions. Cheatham's record also reflects misdemeanor convictions for offenses, including disorderly conduct, trespassing, drug possession and criminal impersonation.
Beard was convicted of two robbery counts in 2004 and received a three-year sentence. He was convicted of unlawful gun possession by a convicted felon that same year for which he received an 18-month sentence. Beard's record also reflects a number of misdemeanor convictions for offenses such as drug possession, assault and trespassing.
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