KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A student was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon after getting into a fight with a University of Tennessee police officer, and the altercation was captured on cell phone camera.
UT police say around 4:55 p.m, they began receiving calls about Nofl Hassan Alatyah, 19, attacking cars in the area of Neyland Drive and Lake Loudon Boulevard. Callers said the student was kicking and punching cars and that he was covered in blood. Dispatchers said it was likely he had cut himself breaking out one or more windows on passing cars.
Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett’s spokesman confirms the mayor’s vehicle was one of those that was vandalized.
A few minutes later, a UT police officer saw the student matching the suspect description walking int he road and stopped to talk to him. As soon as he did so, the suspect ran toward the officer and began punching him. The officer tried to separate himself from the man and ordered him to stop, but police say the suspect continued trying to punch the officer.
That’s when the officer used his Taser, knocking the man to the ground. An ambulance was called because of the man’s injuries. He did not have any identification and refused to tell officers his name. It is believed he was having some sort of mental health crisis was taken to UT Medical Center.
The Knoxville Police Department is looking into numerous vehicle vandalism incidents related to this case and that charges are pending.
Anyone who was a victim of vandalism and has not yet reported it to police is asked to call KPD at (865) 215-7268 and mention the call is in reference to the incident at Neyland Drive and Lake Loudon Boulevard.