Gun-wielding road rage spurs Kingsport arrest

Rain Smith • Mar 6, 2018 at 1:29 PM

KINGSPORT — A Kingsport man has been arrested for trying to prove “no one was going to mess with him anymore,” according to police, as he displayed a pistol to another motorist on Stone Drive, then exited his vehicle to try to start a fight.

A report at the Kingsport Police Department says the road rage incident occurred about 12:30 Saturday afternoon. The male and female victims, each age 55, reported a Mini Cooper speeding on East Stone Drive.

Near Brookside Drive, the unknown speeder allegedly “waved” for the other motorist to pull beside him, then “stuck a handgun that was still inside the holster out of the window.” The complainants didn’t specify what ignited the incident but said they perceived the pointing of the gun to be a threat.

The pair of vehicles progressed east on Stone Drive to the intersection of North Eastman Road, where they were stopped by a red light. The suspect allegedly got out of his Mini Cooper and approached the victims’ vehicle, yelling, “Come on!”

The complainants stayed in their car. They told police that the suspect continued on Stone Drive and stopped at Honda Kingsport. There, the suspect is alleged to have again tried to incite a physical confrontation by “yelling and motioning” for the other driver to pull into the parking lot.

An officer reports responding to the dealership to find the Mini Cooper still on the scene, along with its driver, Michael A. Arrants, 63. He reportedly provided the same description of events as the complainants.

Arrants also offered that on the day prior, he had been involved in an argument with another motorist who “splashed water onto his new car.” He allegedly stated he was “tired of getting picked on … wanted to show that no one was going to mess with him anymore.”

The reporting officer notes finding Arrants in possession of a .40-caliber pistol and a holster. After Arrants allegedly screamed and cursed police — drawing a crowd with his disruptive behavior in the dealership parking lot — he was arrested.

Arrants is charged with disorderly conduct and two counts of aggravated assault. He was booked into the city jail and later transported to the Sullivan County jail in Blountville.

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