Pipe bombs found at home of Bluff City attempted murder suspect

Rain Smith • Jan 28, 2013 at 3:33 AM

A man is charged with attempted murder in an alleged attack in Bluff City, where he reportedly armed himself with a gun, knife, baton and pipe bomb during a prolonged struggle with numerous people.

Lesley A Cole, 35, is also charged with five counts of aggravated assault in the Thursday afternoon incident, with three of those being against police. An arrest report says that when deputies responded to his home, 1711 Mount Holston Road, he resisted and had to be subdued with several strikes from an officer's ASP. He was transported for a medical evaluation then booked into the Blountville jail.

Police and court records state Cole requested a friend come to his residence because he was upset over an upcoming court date. The Sullivan County Sheriff's Office reports the court appearance is related to a November assault on his 53-year-old mother, whose address is listed as the same Mount Holston Road home. In that incident Cole allegedly pointed a gun at her face before shooting the weapon at the floor.

When the friend arrived to speak with Cole on Thursday, he reportedly went towards his mother's bedroom. This led the friend to believe Cole was going for his mother's gun and contemplating suicide.

An affidavit in Blountville court says Cole's mother observed him grab the gun from her nightstand and stick it's down his pants. She was allegedly able to wrestle it away from him, at which time he put his mother in a choke hold.

Cole's friend told Sullivan County police that he attempted to break Cole's hold on the woman but was unable to do so. During the struggle Cole allegedly reached behind him with a knife and sliced at his friend, cutting his lip. Court records state he then "came forward with the knife towards his mother" but she "caught his wrist" and avoided being cut.

The husband of Cole's mother reportedly called police, with a fight continuing until officer's arrived. At their appearance Cole allegedly attempted to rush them while armed with a baton, but was stopped by his friend. Officers report that as they approached Cole he had a lighter in one hand and a silver object, initially believe to be a flashlight, in the other. He then ran into his bedroom and threw the objects underneath his bed.

When officers entered Cole allegedly refused verbal commands and resisted, prompting force from police. An ASP was used to strike him three times in the thigh, at which time he was subdued and placed in handcuffs and leg irons.

"Components to bombs" were reportedly located by police at the scene. Meanwhile, a check of the silver object Cole had reportedly thrown under the bed revealed it was not a flashlight but a silver pipe. One end of the pipe allegedly had a cap and fuse, prompting response from the Bristol Bomb Squad and ATF. They diffused the object and police continued a search, allegedly locating a second pipe bomb at the residence.

A police report notes both Cole's mother and friend needed medical assistance but refused. Following a mental evaluation at Bristol Regional Medical Center Cole was charged with attempted murder, five counts of aggravated assault and possession of a pipe bomb. He is held in the Sullivan County jail without bond and a court appearance scheduled for Jan. 30.



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