KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A police report from the Knoxville Police Department offers more details regarding the three men charged with assault after allegedly attacking a man, his sister and mother along Magnolia Avenue on Monday evening. A fourth suspect has not yet been identified.
The three suspects, identified as Kenneth Burton Holmes, Steven Wayne Tanner both of Knoxville, and Dylan James Kiser, of Corryton, have each been charged with two counts of assault, which is a class A misdemeanor. KPD says all three suspects are employees of the Tennessee Bonding Company, which is located in the 2600 block of Magnolia Avenue.
The incident occurred after the man’s car broke down just across the street from the bonding company business, and KPD says the altercation began for reasons that remain unclear.
According to the report, officers initially responded to a report of a disturbance in the 2700 block of Magnolia Avenue at 5:28 p.m. on April 11. Officers met with a witness, who told them the male victim had been waiting in his car that had just run out of gas along Magnolia Avenue when his mother and sister arrived to help him with his car issues. A dark gray Toyota pickup truck drove past the family at a high rate of speed and someone yelled something to the effect of, “Get out of the road you fat Black b****” at the man’s sister.
The truck then parked across the street and four men, described in the report as white males, stepped out of the truck and threw beer cans onto the ground as they approached the edge of the sidewalk, arguing with the man and yelling racial profanities at all three victims. All four suspects walked across Magnolia Avenue toward where the victims were parked. Kiser allegedly approached the male victim, who slapped him in the face and as he attempted to defend himself, and the four suspects allegedly attacked him.
The report states the witness observed the man being attacked by Holmes, Tanner, Kiser and a fourth unknown suspect. The man’s sister went to help defend him. As she was trying to help him, one of the suspects, Holmes, allegedly held her hands behind her back while he and the unknown fourth suspect struck her, leaving bruises and welts. She managed to break free, grabbed her mother’s cane to try to strike the suspects, which was unsuccessful and as a last resort ran back to her car to grab her pepper spray and deployed it toward the suspects, ending the assault.
The four suspects retreated back across the street and into the Tennessee Bonding Company in the 2600 block of Magnolia Avenue. The mother, who recently had a knee operation, had allegedly been shoved to the ground when she tried to break up the fight and she told officers the fall caused her extreme pain. Her son, whom was attacked by the four suspects, suffered bruising and lacerations to his face.
While the officers were at the scene of the reported disturbance gathering information, the three victims saw one of the suspects, Holmes, sitting across the street on the steps of the Tennessee Bonding Company and they pointed him out to police. Officers approached the business exterior and the report states they could smell a strong odor of alcohol emitting from the property and also saw several beer bottles on the ground near the suspect’s truck. Officers spoke with Holmes, who initially told them nobody from his establishment was involved in the altercation and then he said he had been hit in the elbow with a cane.
When officers asked Holmes more questions, he said he didn’t want to talk anymore and wanted his lawyer. Holmes was taken into custody and a Glock 19 pistol was taken from his waistband and handed over with his consent to his colleague for safekeeping. After several minutes, the other suspects walked out of the building and said they had gone inside to wash out their eyes of the pepper spray. All three victims identified the suspects as the men who had attacked them.
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Officers could smell a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from all three suspects’ breaths, the report states. Holmes, Tanner and Kiser are expected to appear for their bonded arraignment hearings in Knox County court on Tuesday, April 19.
A bonded arraignment hearing is a court proceeding where a person charged with a crime who is out on bond or has been released with a misdemeanor citation is advised of the charges against them and they’re given an option to either hire an attorney, request a court-appointed attorney/public defender, or to represent themself.
Knoxville Police has not yet identified the fourth suspect said to be involved in the incident; however, KPD says officers spoke with two other Tennessee Bonding Company employees following the incident but could not determine if those two were primary aggressors so charges were not filed.