Tracy City, Tennessee, man charged in Sunday attack on state trooper

Contributed by Grundy County Sheriff's Office / Austin Gage McHone, 24, of Tracy City, Tenn.
photo Contributed by Grundy County Sheriff's Office / Austin Gage McHone, 24, of Tracy City, Tenn.

A Tracy City, Tennessee, man has been charged with attacking a trooper with the Tennessee Highway Patrol during a Sunday night traffic stop in Grundy County and authorities are seeking an unnamed suspect.

State authorities were tight-lipped Tuesday saying only the incident was under investigation, according to an email from agency spokesperson Sgt. Cecil Harvey. Harvey didn't respond to inquiries about the trooper's name or current condition.

(READ MORE: Tracy City man charged in alleged attack with bat)

Austin Gage McHone, 24, turned himself in without incident Tuesday on charges of aggravated assault, resisting arrest and felony evading arrest, according to Sheriff Clint Shrum. McHone is currently being held without bond and faces a court day July 12, Shrum said in an email.

Shrum said the incident happened at 11:40 p.m. Sunday at the intersection of Flat Branch and Hobbs Hill roads just north of the Tracy City city limits, according to a sheriff's office statement posted on social media.

The trooper, who has not been named, was reportedly conducting a traffic stop involving a rider on a yellow ATV, Shrum said. The area where the incident happened is heavily wooded with a few homes scattered nearby along Flat Branch, Hobbs Hill and Orange Hill roads.

"The ATV fled before losing control in the ditch line," Shrum said. "The trooper approached the rider and was violently attacked. During the attack, the suspect attempted to take the trooper's weapon but was unable to do so."

photo Contributed photo by Grundy County Sheriff's Office / The coat belonging to a trooper shows blood stains from a struggle when the trooper was allegedly attacked by a suspect Sunday, July 3, 2022, during a traffic stop in Tracy City, Tenn.

(READ MORE: Inmates help deputy under attack in Bradley County)

The attacker and trooper struggled for almost five minutes before the suspect left the scene, the sheriff said. The trooper was treated at a local hospital and later released, according to authorities. The suspect is believed to have also sustained injuries.

The suspect is described as a white man with a short beard, standing between 6 feet, 2 inches, and 6 feet, 4 inches, tall and weighing about 240 pounds, according to authorities.

Anyone with information about the incident or knowledge of someone who fits the description should contact the Grundy County Sheriff's Office at 931-692-3466, extension 8, Grundy County central dispatch at 931-924-2079, Tennessee Highway Patrol at 423-634-6890 or by private message through the sheriff's office social medial page. Tipsters will be kept confidential and anonymous, officials said.

Contact Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton.