Loudon County Man Attacks Neighbors; Steals Car

Loudon County (WVLT) - You've long been taught to love thy neighbor, but the rules may change when that neighbor attacks your family and steals your car.

That's what one Loudon County woman says happened to her on Monday.

Thirty-nine-year-old Jerry Dyer is under arrest, charged with two counts of aggravated kidnapping, theft and two counts of assault.

Volunteer TV's Jessa Goddard has more on how the situation has put a whole community at arms.

Nancy Barnhart says Dyer moved in with his brother just down the road a few weeks ago.

He seemed nice enough, so the Barnharts were nice and kind, but their kindness didn't pay.

"Well, he said he knew I was sick, and didn't feel like cooking, so he thought he'd bring us supper. He brought down soup, then he brought down cornbread, then he went back for cake. And then, he came back for the car."

Sixty-seven-year-old Nancy Barnhart says she was one of the few neighbors left that would let Dyer use her phone.

She now believes opening her home to Dyer, left her family open to attack.

Barnhart says her husband, Hugh, was just finishing lunch when Dyer turned from thoughtful neighbor to thankless thief.

She says he told her the fun is over, and it's fixing to get ugly.

"He told me to sit down and I wouldn't do it. And I saw he was serious and i had a drink in my hand and i threw it in his face. Well, it didn't phase him."

Barnhart says, that's when Dyer struck her, then Hugh, in the head.

He demanded their car keys, seated them, and bound their feet with electrical tape.

She says, before he left, he took her cell phone and all their handsets and said not to call police, that he'd be back.

Barnhart says as soon as he drove down the road, she got loose and ran next door to call police.

They caught him driving the Barnharts' car through Scott County just a couple hours later.

Barnhart says she will heal, but her sense of security can never be restored, and for that, Dyer should pay.

"Everything they can throw at him. Because it's not right to retire and think you're safe."

Barnhart says her husband sustained a fractured hip and nose.

He's expected to undergo surgery Tuesday or Wednesday.

Barnhart says her family has always taken safety precautions, like locking their doors and windows.

Now, she says, they'll have to be less trusting of who comes knocking at their door.

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