Police: Former Kingsport Axmen player arrested after threatening to kill people; games postponed


KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) — Police say a now-former Kingsport Axemen player was arrested after he made threats to kill people following his dismissal from the team.

Kingsport police arrested Matthew T. Taylor, 21 of Kingsport, and charged him with felony false reporting and harassment.

According to the police department, officers were called to Hunter Wright Stadium on Monday to stand by while team management dismissed Taylor and banned him from the premises. Police say he left the facility without incident, but officers were called back to the stadium about an hour and a half later regarding threats made by Taylor.

Matthew T. Taylor (Photo: KPD)

“Further investigation by responding Officers and Detectives revealed that Mr. Taylor had sent messages, via a social media application, in which he had threatened to kill multiple people at the Kingsport Axmen game scheduled for that evening,” the police department stated in a news release.

Both Monday’s and Tuesday’s games between Kingsport and Greeneville were canceled by team management “out of an abundance of caution,” according to KPD.

Taylor was arrested at a residence in Sullivan County. He was booked into the Kingsport City Jail but was released after posting a $25,000 bond.

The Axmen issued a statement earlier Tuesday evening announcing that a player had been removed from the team and that Tuesday evening’s doubleheader with Greeneville had been postponed.

“A player has been removed from the team for conduct of concern and violation of team rules,” the statement reads. “As we continue to evaluate the facts of the matter, we have postponed the game and will keep our fans informed.”

Taylor, a Kingsport native who played for Dobyns-Bennett, was a pitcher for the Axmen. Kingsport police say the incident remains under investigation.

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