KPD e-News Release: Suspect in Custody in Road Rage Fueled Machete Attack

Kingsport Police Department

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660 • 423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-224-2786 (FAX)

SUBJECT: Suspect in Custody in Road Rage Fueled Machete Attack
DATE: November 23, 2014
On November 22, 2014, shortly after 3:00 PM, Kingsport Police Patrol Officers were dispatched to westbound Interstate 26 at the exit ramp to the new Tennessee Welcome Center in reference to an incident of road rage. Their initial investigation revealed that occupants of two separate vehicles had become involved in a physical confrontation involving a machete. Detectives from the K.P.D. Criminal Investigations Division were summoned to the scene. Their subsequent investigation revealed the following:

A 2005 Ford Expedition occupied by four individuals was westbound on Interstate 26 when a 2008 Honda Civic approached from behind. The driver and sole occupant of the Honda was a complete stranger to the occupants of the Ford, but was later identified as John R. Hay, III. Mr. Hay began flashing the headlights of his Honda at the Ford. He then passed the Ford, making obscene gestures toward the occupants in the process. Once ahead of the Ford, Mr. Hay began deliberately and recklessly applying his brakes directly in front of the Ford.

In an attempt to avoid further interaction with Mr. Hay, the driver of the Ford pulled the vehicle over to the roadside at the exit ramp to the new Tennessee Welcome Center. Mr. Hay stopped directly in front of the Ford and promptly exited his Honda wielding what was later determined to be a machete. An adult male front seat passenger exited the Ford to confront Mr. Hay and was immediately attacked.

Mr. Hay swung the machete at the victim causing a severe laceration to his hand. In self-defense, the victim fought back, took Mr. Hay to the ground, and hit him to disarm him of the deadly weapon. Once disarmed, Mr. Hay got up, retreated to his Honda, and fled the scene, leaving the machete behind. The remaining occupants of the Ford, as well as multiple independent witnesses confirmed the victim’s account of the events.

The victim was transported to Holston Valley Medical Center by Sullivan County E.M.S. where the trauma to his hand required immediate surgery. He is currently listed in stable condition.

In short order, K.P.D. Patrol Officers located Mr. Hay driving the Honda in the vicinity of Wilcox Drive and South John B. Dennis Highway and conducted a traffic stop without incident. Mr. Hay was transported to Holston Valley Medical Center where he was interviewed by detectives and treated for injuries sustained in his altercation with the victim.

At approximately 10:30 PM, Mr. Hay was released from the hospital and was transported to the Kingsport Justice Center where he was charged with Criminal Attempt to Commit 1st Degree Murder and incarcerated in the Kingsport City Jail. He was later transferred to the Sullivan County Jail in Blountville where he will remain pending arraignment. This investigation is ongoing with potential additional charges pending the outcome.

Name John R. Hay, III
Age Date of Birth 10/14/1958

56 Years of Age

Race/Gender White/Male
Residency 304 Arbor Terrace Drive

Kingsport, TN

Charge(s) Criminal Attempt to Commit 1st Degree Murder

Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

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