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Police say Hawkins man tried to gouge out neighbor's eye during fight

May 23rd, 2013 8:19 pm by Jeff Bobo

Police say Hawkins man tried to gouge out neighbor's eye during fight

VICTOR KEITH ARNOLD

SURGOINSVILLE — A Hawkins County man allegedly admitted to police he tried to remove his neighbor’s eye during a physical altercation that occurred Monday night.

Monday was the 40th birthday of Victor Keith Arnold, 481 Cold Springs Road, Surgoinsville. Arnold was arrested around 8:30 p.m. Monday at his home following a fight with neighbor, Steven Speaks.

Arnold was arraigned Wednesday on one count of aggravated assault and waived his charge to the Hawkins County grand jury.

According to a report filed by Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Josh Byrd, Arnold stated Speaks had called his home and told his wife that he wanted to meet in a field between their two residences.

Upon meeting in the field, the two men reportedly started cursing each other, and a physical altercation started. Byrd said there had been ongoing issues between Arnold and Speaks for different reasons.

“Both subjects stated the other threw the first punch that started the fight,” Byrd said. (Arnold stated) that he inserted his thumb into the eye of Mr. Speaks. Arnold advised that he was wanting to remove Mr. Speaks’ eye.” 

Byrd added, “Both subjects then went to the ground. Mr. Arnold stated that he then put his arm around Mr. Speaks’ neck and applied pressure.” 

Arnold also allegedly admitted to Byrd that he wanted to kill Speaks.

Speaks reportedly confirmed that Arnold stuck a thumb in his eye. Speaks stated that while he was being choked by Arnold he gave up and the altercation was over.

Speaks was transported to the Holston Valley Medical Center by his wife for treatment to his left eye. Byrd said Speaks’ cornea was swollen to the point that he couldn’t see out of it.

Pending the grand jury disposition in the case, Arnold remains free on $5,000 bond.


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