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Man who allegedly rammed Trump rally vehicle arrested after second chase

Rain Smith • Updated Oct 10, 2018 at 2:15 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — A Johnson City man accused last week of eluding Sullivan County police in a stolen car, then crashing into a semi headed to President Trump’s rally in Johnson City was apprehended on Tuesday — but not before allegedly stealing another vehicle and again fleeing from officers.

Anthony Lynn Hammonds, 21, of East Market Street, was captured on Brown Circle in Blountville. According to the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, deputies visited a home in an attempt to locate him and spotted Hammonds outside.

Hammonds ran to nearby Barefoot Landings, where he was apprehended in the yard of a residence. Police report narcotics and drug paraphernalia were in his possession. Meanwhile, a Toyota Tacoma in the area was discovered to have been stolen last week from Johnson City, and police believe Hammonds to be the culprit in that theft.

That would make at least two stolen vehicles Hammonds has allegedly possessed in eight days. The first incident occurred last Monday, when SCSO officers were trying to locate a stolen Acura RX in Blountville.

Shortly before 8 p.m., the car was observed turning from Island Road onto Highway 394. When police attempted to conduct a stop, the driver — later identified as Hammonds — reportedly sped onto Exit 69 and headed south on Interstate 81, recklessly weaving through traffic.

Near mile marker 64, the pursuit of Hammonds encountered heavy traffic caused by President Donald Trump’s rally in Johnson City. For his anticipated return to Tri-Cities Airport to depart on Air Force One, police were conducting rolling roadblocks and closing I-81 ramps.

According to the SCSO, Hammonds used the shoulder and emergency lanes to pass stopped vehicles. While attempting to swerve back into proper lanes of travel, he hit a 2018 Freightliner. The Tennessee Highway Patrol reports the semi was en route to Freedom Hall, where it was supposed to pick up White House communications equipment used during Trump’s visit.

After the collision, Hammonds allegedly bailed from the stolen car, then ran across the median and northbound lanes of I-81. Police lost contact as Hammonds descended a hill onto Shipley Ferry Road.

A passenger in the stolen car was identified as Teryn Felty, 19, of Piney Flats. She was taken into custody on a warrant out of Washington County for failure to report. Police say meth was found in the Acura, which Felty claimed ownership of, along with documents and a bank card belonging to another woman. Felty was additionally charged with drug possession and possession of stolen property.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Hammonds remained held in the Sullivan County jail in Blountville on holds for warrants in both Carter County and Washington County. In Sullivan County, he faces more than a dozen charges including felony theft, evading arrest, reckless endangerment and reckless driving.

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