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Hawkins man accused of making death threats to Food City employee

Jeff Bobo • Jun 11, 2019 at 12:30 PM

CHURCH HILL — Police still don't know what motivated a Hawkins County man to pursue a 16-year-old Church Hill Food City employee through the store parking lot with a knife Saturday evening while making death threats.

The victim told police he had never met the man before that incident.

Upon being arrested outside the store, William Gordon Horne, 60, 132 Forest View Drive, Surgoinsville, was allegedly found to be in possession of a lock-blade folding knife as well as three Oxycodone pills and 1.5 Alprazolam pills.

Horne reportedly told police that he was “trying to scare that boy.”

Around 7:40 p.m. Saturday, Church Hill Police Department Officer Chad Gillenwater responded to the Food City on Silver Lake Road after a 16-year-old employee ran back into the store and reported that he was being pursued by a man wielding a knife and threatening to kill him.

The boy stated he had just exited his car where he spent his lunch break, and he was on his way back to clock in and return to work when he was approached by Horne, with whom he had no previous interaction.

“When Mr. Horne approached (the boy) on foot, Mr. Horne pulled a knife from his pocket, opened the blade, and pointed it toward him (the boy),” Gillenwater stated in his report.

Horne then allegedly told the boy, “If you don't get back in that store I'm fixing to kill you” and also cursed at the boy.

As the boy attempted to get back in the store, Horne allegedly followed him while pointing the knife at him and making verbal death threats.

After the boy made it inside the store, Horne reportedly stopped just outside the store and stayed there until police arrived.

The boy said he has no idea what prompted the threats from Horne.

Video surveillance from the store parking lot reportedly showed Horne pointing the knife at the boy and pursuing the boy into the building.

Video also confirmed that the alleged threats weren't provoked in any way.

Horne was charged with aggravated assault, a Class C felony punishable by 3-6 years if convicted, and two counts of misdemeanor drug possession. He was arraigned Monday in Hawkins County Sessions Court, and bond was set at $25,000.

Horne was also ordered to be on house arrest with an ankle monitor if he makes bail, and he would have a restraining order to stay away from the victim and the Church Hill Food City.

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