According to an incident report from the Kingsport Police Department, officers responded to the Wal-Mart on West Stone Drive at 9:45 p.m. An EMS crew had already responded to the scene and was transporting an unconscious man to the hospital.
The police report states the man, Sherman Lee Welch, 925 Heritage Drive, Mount Carmel, went to the parking lot to meet with his girlfriend. He was driven to the scene by another woman, Jessica Castle, 205 Locust St., Kingsport.
According to Castle’s statements to police, the couple were initially hugging and kissing. Then Welch and his girlfriend, Jennifer Lynne Pruitt, of 317 Elmhurst Drive, got into an altercation.
The incident report states Welch used the door of a car to push Pruitt. As he turned and walked away, Pruitt allegedly jumped on his back.
A Honda then drove up behind Welch and hit him, knocking him to the ground, police said. The police report states this blow knocked Welch unconscious.
As Welch lay on the ground, two men exited the Honda and allegedly began punching and kicking him. The police report states they also struck Welch several times with a metal flashlight, then jumped back in their vehicle and drove away.
Through witness statements, police were able to develop two suspects in the attack; Michael Craig Braman Jr., 28, of Limestone, Tenn., and Brian James Rector, 27, 3142 Tiffany Court, Kingsport.
The suspects were located at Rector’s home, charged with aggravated assault and arrested. They have since posted bond at the Kingsport jail.
Welch was transported to Holston Valley Medical Center for treatment of his injuries and released the same day.