Crimetracker: Kidnap suspect in custody

By: Hilary Magacs Email
By: Hilary Magacs Email

KNOXVILLE, Tenn (WVLT) -- People are still shocked by what happened at the Subway located at 10244 Kingston Pike

"Love makes people do crazy things," said Fredrick Kinzalow.

It all started around 5 a.m. Monday. When Michelle Mayes pulled up to the restaurant to start her shift. She didn't know her estranged husband was waiting for her.

"Stephen Mayes was hiding in the bushes. He had a gun and he forced his way into her car," said Martha Dooley, with the Knox County Sheriff's Office.

He drove around for awhile before stopping at a liquor store on Campbell Station Road. That's when Mayes forced his wife out of the car and tried to stuff her into the trunk.

"And he told her if she wasn't quiet, he was going to put duct tape on her and she was trying to get away from him and there was a struggle. He forced her to the ground and began strangling her," said Dooley.

She managed to get away, and ran to the Pilot gas station next door for help.

Pilot customer Fredrick Kinzalow said it was a hot topic of conversation when he stopped by the gas station Tuesday.

"Said that the lady came like running into the Pilot and said something about a gun and ran back through the store and another customer was in there and they locked the front door and called police." said Kinzalow.

The Sheriff's Office said deputies nabbed Mayes later that day after he showed up at another gas station on Campbell Station Road complaining of chest pains and asking for an ambulance.

"Hospital officials then notified us, and we went and took him into custody," said Dooley.

Mayes will face carjacking, especially aggravated kidnapping and aggravated assault when he's released.

This isn't the first time Mayes had gone after his estranged wife. Last month, Blount County deputies charged him with domestic violence. The next day, he broke into Michelle Mayes' apartment and threated to kill himself. He was eventually committed to the VA hospital in Murfreesboro. Blount County still has warrants out for him for aggravated burglary and violating an order of protection. Knox County deputies also charged him with multiple counts of stalking last month.

The Knox County Sheriff's Office encourages anyone facing domestic violence to contact the Family Crisis Unit, which can help with order of protections, warrants and the court system.

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