Police arrest hammer-wielding man near church

KINGSPORT, Tenn. (AP) -- Hawkins County deputies have arrested a man who churchgoers said hammered on the church door during a worship service.

According to the Kingsport Times-News, responding deputies found 36-year-old Ronnie Lee Hardesty of Rogersville behind a nearby house. The police report said Hardesty was holding a large hammer when found Sunday morning. He refused to put down the hammer and tried to run from deputies, but was taken into custody.

Members of the Ross Campground Church said Hardesty told the congregation he was on bath salts before running away. Deputies found what appear to be hammer marks on the church door.

Hardesty was arrested on a number of charges, including aggravated assault

On Tuesday, he was still in the Hawkins County Jail, which had no record of an attorney for him.


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