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Violent Kingsport carjacking spurs arrest

Rain Smith • Jan 17, 2018 at 1:58 PM

KINGSPORT — A Bristol man has been charged in an unprovoked attack on a stranger outside a Kingsport pharmacy, where he allegedly assaulted a customer with a bat to steal her vehicle.

According to reports at the Kingsport Police Department, the incident occurred late Sunday at Walgreens, 1420 West Stone Drive.

On Tuesday morning, the victim’s SUV was located at a motel in Lynn Garden, as was Morgan K. McCracken, 31. He was subsequently arrested on several charges.

Police records state that just before midnight on Sunday, a 28-year-old woman exited Walgreens after shopping. When she entered her 2003 Jeep Liberty, an unknown white male opened the door and hit her in the side of the head with a baseball bat.

He allegedly said he had been shot and “needed out of town,” then claimed to have gone through the woman’s belongings and learned that she has children. The suspect threatened that if she didn’t cooperate with him, according to the police report, he would kill her kids.

At that point, the woman gave him her keys and ran from the Jeep. The suspect drove from the scene with the victim’s purse and cell phone.

A man in the parking lot told police that he had witnessed the incident, while a check of Walgreens video revealed the suspect had been inside the store just minutes earlier. The victim — who had no idea about the identity of her attacker — was transported to the hospital.

On Tuesday morning, police spotted the stolen Jeep at the Super 8 Motel, 700 Lynn Garden Drive. Though someone had attempted to paint the SUV blue, the shoddy work allowed the original silver color to show through. When police arrived, McCracken was standing by the open front door. He denied any knowledge of the vehicle, according to police, though he resembled the suspect in the pharmacy attack.

Detectives responded to investigate further, leading to McCracken’s arrest on charges of carjacking and felony vandalism. Police report that a white crystal substance believed to be meth was located in the vehicle, netting an additional charge of possession of a Schedule II drug. A man who was with McCracken at the motel, Archie S. Ramsey, 35, was also arrested on drug offenses.

As of Wednesday morning, McCracken, whose address is listed in Bristol, Tenn., remained held in the Kingsport City Jail.

“Fortunately, violent crimes of this nature involving complete strangers are extremely rare in Kingsport,” said KPD Public Information Officer Tom Patton. “In the vast majority of cases, victims of violent crimes in Kingsport were acquainted with their attacker in one way or another prior to the incident.”

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