Contributed photo by Grundy County Sheriff's Office / Stephen Ray Orange, 45, of Tracy City, Tenn.

A Tracy City, Tennessee, man has been charged with aggravated assault in the alleged beating of another man with a bat, leaving him hospitalized, according to authorities in Grundy County.

Stephen Ray Orange, 45, was renting a building to the alleged victim, Matthew Sanders, 54, and Samantha Moore, 29, who was not charged or injured in the incident, according to a Grundy County Sheriff's Office report.

Orange has a bond hearing on the charge June 21, Sheriff Clint Shrum said Monday in an email. Sanders is recovering from his injuries, he said.

The office of Public Defender Jeff Harmon, who could not be reached immediately for comment Monday, is representing Orange in the case.

The altercation on Orange's property happened May 21, according to the report filed by Grundy County Deputy Phillip Hobbs.

Moore told officers she and Sanders had been living in the building for two to three months, paying for the electricity they used, Hobbs' report states.

Orange had told the couple to move out a day or more before the incident, Moore told authorities, and they were attempting to remove their personal belongings when trouble began, the report states.

While moving their belongings, Orange allegedly walked from his house to the building and started hitting the outside of the building with a bat, the report states. As Orange walked around the building, Sanders stepped outside to speak to Orange, the report states.

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The two had a brief conversation and Orange asked Sanders if he was threatening his wife and swung at Sanders, hitting him in the head, the report states.

The accused man's wife, Chrysdova Orange, told authorities Sanders and Moore had stayed in the building after being told to leave, and Stephen Orange unplugged an extension cord that supplied the building with electricity, the report states.

Orange later saw the cord was plugged back in and the pair was still in the building, the report states.

"Mr. Orange stated he walked up to the building carrying a 'Buford Pusser stick' to confront them about why they were not moved out," Hobbs states in his report.

Orange's alleged description of the stick refers former McNairy County, Tennessee, Sheriff Buford Pusser, elected to office in 1964 and known for the battle he waged against moonshiners, prostitution and gambling operations made famous in the 1973 movie "Walking Tall," in which his character was portrayed by Joe Don Baker and carried a large hickory stick as a weapon, according to histories on the Buford Pusser museum website.

Orange then reportedly changed his account of events saying Sanders threatened Orange's wife and hit Orange with a bat before Orange began hitting Sanders back, the report states.

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Chrysdova Orange told Hobbs when her husband returned from the altercation he had been struck in the head and arm with a bat and in the back with a piece of wood that had nails sticking out of it, Hobbs' report states. The deputy noted the nails made it appear the piece of wood had once been nailed to an object at some point and broken off.

Orange declined medical treatment, authorities said.

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

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