Suspects assault pregnant woman during Hawkins home invasion; victim fires shots at vehicle

Jeff Bobo • Oct 1, 2012 at 9:56 AM

CHURCH HILL — Two men who broke into a residence near Church Hill early Saturday morning apparently in search of pills assaulted a pregnant woman with a baseball bat before getting away with the victim’s purse.

As the two male suspects were fleeing, the woman fired several shots at a purple Ford Ranger with a .22-caliber pistol.

One of the suspects, Benjamin “Craig” Carroll, 35, 323 Jones Road, Church Hill, was recognized by the woman. Police found Carroll and the bullet-riddled Ford Bronco at his residence, resulting in charges including aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery and theft under $500.

As of Monday night, the second suspect remained at large. Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Tony Allen said investigators are following up on leads as to the second suspect’s identity and location.

The incident occurred shortly before 2:30 a.m. Saturday.

HCSO Detective Chris Price said that shortly before the incident occurred, Carroll and the second suspect came into contact with the victim’s husband at the KenJo Market on Silver Lake Road in Church Hill.

Price said Carroll recognized the husband as an acquaintance he knew to have had a problem with pills in the past.

“Mr. Carroll asked (the husband) if he had been to the doctor yet, and (the husband) said yes,” Price said. “(The husband) then went on to Walmart for some late-night shopping, and the two suspects went to his residence.”

Present at the residence on Old Union Road were the man’s 30-year-old wife, her 20-year-old brother-in-law, and two small children ages 3 and 10 months.

The victims stated that the back door was forced open, and a male they both identified as “Craig Carroll” entered the residence waving an aluminum baseball bat demanding to know “Where is the medicine?”

The woman, who is seven months pregnant, said Carroll pinned her down with his knee in her abdomen, and while swinging the bat wildly struck her in the knee and the brother-in-law in the head, and then hit a glass table causing it to shatter. The 10-month-old child suffered cuts on the broken glass.

Carroll also allegedly held the bat at the wife’s throat and demanded pills.

The second suspect allegedly held down the brother-in-law while Carroll fled out the door with the woman’s purse containing medication, motorcycle keys and a motorcycle title.

The woman fired several shots at the fleeing Bronco, striking it in the hood, passenger-side fender, and three shots that struck but didn’t penetrate the windshield.

The victims also identified the Bronco as having a taillight out.

Not only did the Bronco at Carroll’s residence have the bullet holes, it also reportedly had the taillight out.

Carroll was arraigned Monday in Hawkins County Sessions Court and remains held in the Hawkins County jail on $75,000 bond.

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