Grandfather accused of threatening alleged bullies with rifle

Jeff Bobo • May 29, 2007 at 12:00 AM

ROGERSVILLE — Police say a Rogersville couple probably solved a grandchild’s problem with bullies at Swift Park Saturday night.

But the solution, which involved a sawed-off rifle and a baseball bat, landed them both in jail on felony charges.

Rogersville Police Department Officer James Hammonds was dispatched to Swift Park on Hasson Street Saturday around 9 p.m. on a disturbance complaint. Upon his arrival, Hammonds was met by several youths who claimed a man pulling away in a white Toyota truck had pointed a gun at them.

Hammonds pulled his patrol car into the path of the Toyota truck and stopped the vehicle, which was being driven by Charles Douglas Smith, 60, 1709 Old Route 70, Rogersville.

Smith’s passenger in the truck was Phyllis Jean Bowen, 46, 4914 Highway 11-W, Rogersville.

Smith initially told the officer that he was “just going home when the subject approached him and began to argue with him,” according to Hammonds’ report.

A witness told Hammonds that Smith had gotten out of his truck armed with a sawed-off .22-caliber rifle and pointed it at several people stating “he was going to even the odds.”

Hammonds said he recovered the sawed-off rifle in the floorboard of the truck, as well as a baseball bat that several youths claimed Bowen had threatened to hit them with.

“They (Smith and Bowen) were threatening some people who had been picking on Mr. Smith’s grandson,” Hammonds told the Times-News Tuesday. “He was wanting to try to get it to stop, so he pulled out a sawed-off .22 rifle, and she pulled out a ball bat. It scared them pretty good. I’d say that (the bullying) probably won’t be happening anymore.

“The grand- son was friends with this group, and then something happened, and this had been an ongoing problem for four or five days.”

Smith was charged with aggravated assault and possession of a prohibited weapon. Bowen was charged with aggravated assault.

Smith and Bowen were both released from the Hawkins County Jail Sunday morning and are scheduled for arraignment in sessions court on June 6.

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