Suspect hiding in thicket caught with thermal imaging camera

Jeff Bobo • Mar 29, 2013 at 12:11 PM

CHURCH HILL — A Church Hill man was sentenced to 10 days in jail Monday for evading arrest after reportedly being captured Sunday by the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office with a borrowed thermal imaging camera.

HCSO Deputy Josh Byrd was at the Whistle Stop Market parking lot on Carters Valley Road in Church Hill shortly after 8:30 p.m. Sunday when a store clerk reportedly confronted a man outside about possibly stealing something from the store.

Byrd said he recognized the man as Johnny Benjamin Peters, 25, 106 S. Holston Drive, Church Hill, who Byrd knew to be wanted for failure to pay child support and two counts of failure to appear.

“I approached Mr. Peters and advised him of the warrants,” Byrd said. “At this time Mr. Peters began running to prevent arrest. I pursued Mr. Peters eastbound on Carters Valley Road stating several times for him to stop running.”

Byrd reportedly lost sight of Peters when he ducked into a thicket near Glendale Road.

It was dark by then, and Byrd reportedly borrowed a thermal imaging camera from the Carters Valley Volunteer Fire Department.

Byrd said the camera detected Peters lying in the thicket near where he’d originally lost sight of him.

After Peters serves the 10-day sentence he will be held on a $1,000 bond for the child support and failure to appear charges.

Recommended for You