Hammer-Wielding Tennessee Man High on Bath Salts Interrupts Church Service

A Tennessee man recently interrupted a Sunday worship service in Church Hill by announcing that he was high on bath salts.

Members of the Ross Campground Church called police after the incident and notified officials that the man had fled on foot.

When police combed the area, they found Ronnie Hardesty, 36, of Rogersville standing on the porch of a nearby home. He was reportedly wielding a large hammer, which he had used to bang on the door, demanding that the homeowners allow entry.

Sergeant Nathan Simpson and Deputy Jason Montgomery then ordered Hardesty to let go of the hammer.

“Sergeant Simpson told Mr. Hardesty to come to us, and he stated ‘I’m not going back to jail’ and refused to put the hammer on the ground,” Montgomery wrote in a police report. “Sergeant Simpson and myself unholstered our weapons and gave verbal commands to drop his weapon, at which time Mr. Hardesty began to run toward an open field to cross a wire fence.”

After tripping and falling to the ground, Hardesty reportedly swung his hammer at police, and continued running.

However, moments later, he was apprehended and transported to the Hawkins County Jail, where he was charged with aggravated assault, attempted burglary, public intoxication, resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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Hardesty remains in jail under $75,000 bond and is scheduled for an arraignment on October 22nd.

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