JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL)- Investigators said a man escaped with only minor injuries after he was kidnapped at gunpoint, and forced to drive across county lines.
37-year-old William Smith and 21-year-old Kevin Dockery were arrested Monday in Johnson City in connection to this case.
Authorities arrested both Smith and Dockery as they were running from police after a reported burglary, and kidnapping.
Johnson City Police Sergeant Mike Adams said the day’s events started in Unicoi County where a man came home to find both Smith and Dockery inside.
“We don’t know if the victim interrupted a burglary at his house in Unicoi County, or if this was targeted, and they were waiting for him to come home,” Adams said.
Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley said the victim told police the two suspects attacked him, and demanded money.
The victim then complied according to Sheriff Hensley, going upstairs to retrieve more than $700 in cash.
While inside, Sheriff Hensley said the suspects also took a large bag and a red suitcase filled with items from the house.
Those items included a video game machine, a large number of tennis shoes, and other valuables totaling more than $1,000.
Sergeant Adams said there was a short struggle inside the home. “…and they basically pulled a gun on him and forced him to get in his car,” Adams said.
Sheriff Hensley said the victim was then held at gunpoint while he was forced to drive to a relatives home in Johnson City.
Once at the home, Sergeant Adams explained the victim was instructed to go inside.
“They told him to go inside, I think that the suspects felt like he may have had more cash, or things that they wanted to rob him in another family member’s home so they told him to go in and get the money,” Adams said.
Once the victim was inside the home along Bell Ridge Road, he reportedly told family members to call 9-1-1 while he ran out the back door to escape.
Sergeant Adams said it was at that time one of the suspects were able to make their way inside.
“One of the suspects came to the front door and pushed his way in with a gun, looking for the victim, the initial victim, he confronted family members that were there, and actually pointed a gun at one of those family members,” Adams said.
Realizing the victim had left, the suspects also made a run for it.
“Maybe 300 yards before they ditched the vehicle, took off running on foot through the woods, through some water and things like that…it could have been a lot worse than it did, and we are very fortunate that nobody was hurt, seriously hurt…it’s very unfortunate that we have this kind of crime going on in Johnson City,” Adams said.
Sergeant Adams also told me when police were chasing the suspects on Monday, they found a large amount of cocaine they believe was dropped by one of those men, William Smith.
Now Smith also faces charges of possession of drugs for resale.
Sheriff Mike Hensley told us over the phone Tuesday that both Dockery and Smith would face aggravated kidnapping, burglary, robbery, and theft over $1,000 charges in Unicoi County.