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Woman runs three miles to escape attack on South Holston Mountain; man charged with aggravated kidnapping, assault

Timesnews.net Staff • Jan 29, 2008 at 12:00 AM

On Tuesday morning the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office reported an aggravated kidnapping and assault that occurred Thursday night.

According to a press release, a woman ran three miles through a rural area of South Holston Mountain before reaching a phone to call for help.

At about 11 p.m. Thursday the Sheriff's Office received a call of assault from a campsite in the area of South Holston Mountain. According to a press release, the woman reported she had earlier been in a parked vehicle on an isolated road with Robert McDowell.

McDowell allegedly began acting strangely, threatening to shoot the woman in the head as she exited the vehicle. Police say the woman never saw a gun, but McDowell did cut her hand with a knife. When she struggled to wrestle it away from McDowell, her other hand was cut.

The victim was able to flee the car and ran three miles to a campsite where she called 911. Police say McDowell gave chase until he fell and injured his leg.

According to the press release, the victim was treated for injuries at Bristol Regional Medical Center. McDowell was found at his home an unspecified amount of time later and admitted to Bristol Regional Medical Center for injuries to his leg. Upon his release from the hospital on Sunday he was arrested.

McDowell is charged with aggravated kidnapping and aggravated assault. He is currently in custody, his bond set at $50,000. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 4.

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