Woman abducted at Kingsport Dollar General

Rain Smith • Jul 8, 2019 at 7:00 PM

KINGSPORT — As a woman departed a Lynn Garden business on Sunday, a stranger allegedly jumped into her car, issued threats and made her drive him around town.

The victim escaped when they returned to the scene of the alleged kidnapping, Dollar General, and he went inside the store to make a purchase. The suspect, Timothy H. Romine, 33, was later located with help from the victim's phone — which he allegedly stole — and had to be Tasered by police.

Kingsport Police Department records state the 46-year-old woman had been shopping at the store on Sunday evening. At about 6:20 p.m., she exited and got into her car to depart. While she was still in the parking lot, an unknown man reportedly opened the passenger side and entered. The suspect, later identified as Romine, reportedly threatened, "It is in your best interest to take me where I want to go, or else."

The woman told police that out of fear, she drove Romine to multiple places he requested in the Lynn Garden community. Records state that as she was driving Romine, he rummaged through her belongings in the vehicle and took her cell phone.

"The male advised he couldn't find the place he wanted to go and that he needed a phone charger," reads a KPD incident report. "(The victim) stated the male advised her to go back to the Dollar General."

Upon returning to the store, Romine allegedly told the woman she "better not leave" while he was inside, as he would be back quickly. As soon as he was out of sight, the victim fled the scene and drove to her nearby house, then used her husband's phone to notify police.

A responding officer called the number for the stolen phone and Romine reportedly answered. He was told to meet back at Dollar General to return it and agreed to do so. While en route, police called the phone again, at which time Romine advised he was walking on Tranbarger Drive.

Officers then spotted Romine and stopped to speak with him. Police say that while he was being handcuffed Romine became hostile, kicking at officers and refusing to enter the cruiser. An incident report says that to gain compliance, officers had to punch him in the ribs and implement a "drive stun" from a Taser.

Romine, address listed as East Sullivan Street in Kingsport, is charged with aggravated kidnapping, theft of property and resisting arrest. The stolen cell phone was reportedly found in Romine's possession and returned to the victim.

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