News and Tribune

April 4, 2013

Two men face charges in robbery, assault of woman

Home burglary led to roadway pursuit

By GARY POPP
gary.popp@newsandtribune.com

CLARKSVILLE — A woman who police believe to be in her 90s was assaulted by two Charlestown men as they burglarized her home Tuesday night and then led police on a pursuit that ended with the suspects’ vehicle crashing on Charlestown Pike, police say.

Joseph Snelling, 19, of 4408 Tunnel Mill Road, and Anthony Spencer, 31, of 1896 Edgewood Drive, each have been preliminarily charged in the incident that began at the woman’s home on West Carter Avenue about 9:45 p.m. Clarksville Police Chief Mark Palmer said the men are believed to be known to the woman, and they may have entered the home looking for prescription medications.

“One of the first questions they asked the woman is where her medications were located in the home, according to her statements,” Palmer said.

Two men were seen carrying a television out of the woman’s home by a neighbor who contacted authorities, Palmer said. He said the neighbor knew the woman who lived in the home and thought the situation seemed out of the ordinary. Palmer said the neighbor yelled at the men, who reacted by getting into a vehicle and leaving the area at a high rate of speed. Before the vehicle was out of sight, the neighbor was able to get its description and direction of travel, which was provided to police.

Minutes later, Jeffersonville police located the vehicle on Veterans Parkway, Palmer said. JPD attempted a traffic stop, which the suspects disregarded, and a pursuit ensued. During the pursuit, Clarksville police were alerted and joined the chase.

Palmer said the pursuit ended when the suspects’ vehicle, a 1993 Dodge Dynasty, left the road, struck a guard rail and came to a stop in a field. After some resistance, Snelling and Spencer were taken into custody by Clarksville police, Palmer said.

The men are believed to have stolen two televisions, a purse and jewelry, Palmer said.

He said the area where the burglary occurred is one of the first neighborhoods that formed a neighborhood watch program after he became the department’s chief.

“They felt like they had a good community, and they’re willing to look our for each other,” Palmer said of the area residents. “And in a case like this, it shows.”

Each man has been preliminarily charged with burglary, a class B felony; robbery, a class C felony; possession of stolen property, a class D felony; and battery, a class A misdemeanor.