Claude J. Feagins. Arrest scene photo contributed by Rikki Rhoten.
Police retrieved a Kingsport man from an island in the Holston River on Sunday evening, after he allegedly stole two chainsaws from a business — assaulting an individual who tried to stop him — then entered the waters in an attempt to elude a pursuing officer.
Claude J. Feagins, 30, of 3816 Eastline Drive, is charged with theft of more than $500, aggravated assault and resisting arrest. He was arraigned Monday morning with his bond set at $18,500.
According to an affidavit in Kingsport court, at approximately 5:20 p.m. police were called to Tractor Supply Company on West Stone Drive. A man, later identified as Feagins, allegedly grabbed two chainsaws and attempted to run from the store.
A witness attempted to stop Feagins, who allegedly struck the person in the face with one of the chainsaws. Feagins, now with only one chainsaw in tow, entered a Dodge Caravan which left the area.
Kingsport Police Officer Grady White was responding to the store when he spotted the suspect's van. A stop was initiated on Rivermont Drive, with Feagins allegedly exiting the vehicle with a chainsaw and running from police.
The chainsaw was dumped in a wooded area off Rivermont Drive. Feagins allegedly continued to run towards Netherland Inn Road, crossing the street and entering river. He pulled himself from the waters on an island in the middle of the South Fork.
Two officers, one accompanied by a K9 partner, were taken to the island by boat and brought Feagins into custody. He was transported and booked into the city jail.