UPDATE: Incident started when convicted felon flashed gun at off duty deputy

By: Nick Bona Email
By: Nick Bona Email

KNOX COUNTY (WVLT) – The sheriff’s department has released more information on Saturday evening’s incident involving an off-duty deputy in East Knox County.

According to officials, Deputy Charles Burnett and his brother were in a truck traveling down Strawberry Plains Pike when a Ford Crown Victoria driven by Robert Grant, 20, cut them off in traffic around 8:00 PM.

Burnett pulled beside Grant, who then allegedly waved a handgun at him. Seeing the weapon, he accelerated and got in of the Ford, which proceeded to bump into the back of the truck.

Both vehicles then stopped along the highway, and Burnett and his brother began to approach the Ford. Seconds later, Grant is alleged to have fired an errant shot at the deputy’s brother. That’s when a second man in the Crown Victoria fled into a nearby wooded area.

Burnett quickly jumped into the Ford and successfully managed to wrestle the gun away from Grant and toss it out the window, but as he did, Grant apparently restarted the car and began to drive with the deputy in the car.

Just moments after the car started forward, Burnett slammed the gear selector into park, which caused Grant to lose control and crash into a ditch near the intersection of Strawberry Plains Pike and Pine Grove Road.

Grant was taken into custody where deputies discovered he was no stranger to the law. As it turned out, he was a convicted felon in the state of Georgia, serving time on a variety of charges including burglary, theft, drug possession and fleeing.

He remained in the Knox County Jail early Monday morning. He has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm, illegal possession of a firearm, simple drug possession for three hydrocodone pills found in his car, criminal impersonation for giving deputies fake names and an old charge of failure to appear in court.

His bond has been set at $13,500.

Late Saturday evening, Knoxville Police and a helicopter joined deputies in searching for the man who escaped into the woods. He was taken in for questioning sometime later and then released.


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